About the Zoning Board of Appeals

The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) as a quasi-judicial body charged under the provisions of Chapter 40A of the Massachusetts General Laws. The ZBA is the Special Permit Granting Authority for:

  • Variances
  • Special Permit Applications, including Special Permits with Design Review and Special Permits with Site Plan Review
  • Appeals by aggrieved parties of administrative or enforcement decisions
  • Comprehensive Permit Petitions (MGL Chapter 40B)

 

  • Notes for Applicants

  • Board Members

  • Reports & Decisions

Development Review Standards:

  • Please be advised that, per the standards set out in Article 15 of the Somerville Zoning Ordinance, a development review application is not complete until all required community and Design Review meetings have been held, all necessary information has been submitted, and all fees have been paid. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed, will not be publicly noticed, and will not be scheduled for a public hearing.
  • Planning staff will work with applicants to discuss meeting dates and review application materials.
  • Applications for large projects may require a longer review period and evaluation by multiple City departments before being deemed complete and scheduled for a public hearing.
  • Planning staff reserves the right to ask for additional information or to change meeting dates.

Orsola Susan Fontano, Chair

Orsola Susan Fontano is a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals and also volunteers with the Elections Department, the Council of Aging, and the Art's Council. Some of her past affiliations include the Historic Preservation Commission, member of the award-winning Somerville All-American City delegation, and founding president of East Somerville Main Streets. She is self-employed, operating Up, Up & Away balloons since 1981 and managing her sister business Nefertiti Hair Salon since 1977.

Danielle Fillis Evans, Clerk

Danielle Fillis Evans holds a master’s degree in Urban and Environmental policy and planning from Tufts University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and has served on the ZBA since 2008. She has worked as a planner in several municipalities in Massachusetts and currently manages the Community Preservation Act program for the City of Medford.

Elaine Severino

Elaine Severino is a former educator and small business owner. She spent 5 years serving on the Zoning Task Force Committee that rewrote the previous Somerville Zoning laws and has served in the Zoning Board of Appeals for over 15 years. She is also a member of the Somerville Garden Club and dedicated to helping create better green spaces in Somerville.

Josh Safdie

Josh Safdie, AIA, NCARB, is a Principal at KMA, an architecture and consulting practice. He serves as the co-chair of the Access Committee for the Boston Society of Architects and has received awards from the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board and the Boston Preservation Alliance for projects merging preservation and accessibility. He is also an Associate Professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and a contributor to Architecture Boston magazine.

Drew Kane, Alternate

Drew is currently the Senior Land Use Planner with the City of Cambridge Community Development Department. Prior to the City of Cambridge, he spent 15 years as a consultant in architecture and planning firms in Atlanta, New York and Boston. Most recently, he was a Senior Urban Planner and Associate at Utile, Inc., a multi-disciplinary architecture and planning firm in Boston.. 

With a professional focus on the regeneration of urban environments, Drew's areas of expertise includes streetscape and public realm design, master planning and regulatory development with particular interest in waterfronts and industrial districts. 

Drew received a Master of City and Regional Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Bachelor’s of Art in Art History from the University of Georgia.

Reports and Decisions

PLEASE NOTE: Applications made before April 15, 2011 are not included in this listing and can be found by clicking here.

Street Number Case Number First Hearing Date Decisions Other Reports Updated datesort ascending
Cedar St 181 ZBA 2012-05 Feb 29, 2012 PDF icon CedarSt181.pdf PDF icon Plans 12-29-11
PDF icon DRC 1-26-12
PDF icon DRC 2-23-12
PDF icon Plans 3-26-12
PDF icon Parking Memorandum
PDF icon Supplemental Parking Memorandum
PDF icon DRC 3-22-12
05/25/2012 - 8:57am
Benton Rd 1 PB 2010-60-R1-4-2012 May 17, 2012 PDF icon BentonRd1-decision _2_.pdf PDF icon Decision on Motion for Summary Judgment
PDF icon Plans
05/25/2012 - 8:57am
Dickinson 12 ZBA 2012-32 May 16, 2012 PDF icon DickinsonSt12.pdf PDF icon Plot & Site Plans PDF icon Staff Report 05/25/2012 - 8:51am
Cedar St 81 ZBA 2012-35 May 16, 2012 PDF icon CedarSt81.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 05/25/2012 - 8:49am
Tyler St / Park St 10 / 28 ZBA 2012-26 May 02, 2012 PDF icon TylerSt10-ParkSt28.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Parking Study
PDF icon Traffic Impact Assessment
PDF icon Parking Memorandum 5-10-12
PDF icon Staff Report 05/25/2012 - 8:48am
Highland Ave 210 ZBA 2012-31 May 16, 2012 PDF icon HighlandAve210 _WWOP_.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 05/25/2012 - 8:46am
Broadway 149-153 PB 2012-05 Apr 05, 2012 PDF icon Broadway149-153.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 04/24/2012 - 4:36pm
Union Sq 73-75 PB 2012-06 Apr 05, 2012 PDF icon UnionSq73-75.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
04/24/2012 - 4:35pm
Windsor St 561 PB 2010-07-R1 (3/2012) Apr 05, 2012 PDF icon WindsorSt561.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon DRC 2-23-12
PDF icon Staff Report 04/24/2012 - 4:35pm
Weston Ave 15 ZBA 2011-85 Apr 04, 2012 PDF icon WestonAve15.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Photo Simulations
PDF icon Staff Report 04/24/2012 - 4:34pm
Summer St 240 ZBA 2012-19 Apr 04, 2012 PDF icon SummerSt240.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 04/24/2012 - 4:34pm
Beacon St 6-8 ZBA 2010-65-R1 (2/2012) Apr 04, 2012 PDF icon BeaconSt6-8.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 04/24/2012 - 4:33pm
Dimick St 33-35 ZBA 2011-98 Feb 01, 2012 PDF icon DimickSt33-35.pdf PDF icon Plans 1-17-12
PDF icon Plans 3-5-12
PDF icon Staff Report 1-26-12
PDF icon Staff Report 3-8-12
04/24/2012 - 4:32pm
Summer St 200 ZBA 2012-13 Mar 14, 2012 PDF icon SummerSt200.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 03/16/2012 - 10:58am
Holland St 89 ZBA 2011-94 Feb 29, 2012 PDF icon HollandSt89.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Parking Memorandum
PDF icon Staff Report 03/16/2012 - 10:57am

Pages

Subscribe to Reports and Decisions