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
Pearl St 88 ZBA 2012-11 Feb 29, 2012 PDF icon PearlSt88.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 03/07/2012 - 11:23am
Monmouth St 10 ZBA 2012-08 Feb 29, 2012 PDF icon MonmouthSt10.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 03/07/2012 - 11:23am
Linwood St 71 ZBA 2010-70-R1-2/2012 Feb 29, 2012 PDF icon LinwoodSt71_R2-2012_.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 03/07/2012 - 11:22am
Broadway 112 PB 2011-20 Jan 05, 2012 PDF icon Broadway112.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 02/06/2012 - 4:42pm
Preston Rd 42 ZBA 2011-91 Jan 04, 2012 PDF icon PrestonRd42.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 02/06/2012 - 4:42pm
Somerville Ave 335 PB 2011-22 Jan 19, 2012 PDF icon SomervilleAve335.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 02/06/2012 - 4:41pm
Medford St 61 PB 2011-21 Jan 19, 2012 PDF icon MedfordSt61.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 02/06/2012 - 4:41pm
Elm St 248 ZBA 2011-97 Jan 18, 2012 PDF icon ElmSt248.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 02/06/2012 - 4:40pm
Bartlett St 26 ZBA 2011-95 Jan 04, 2012 PDF icon BartlettSt26.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12.22.11
PDF icon Staff Report 01.12.12
02/06/2012 - 4:39pm
Broadway 130 PB 2011-02-R1 (1/2012) Feb 02, 2012 PDF icon Broadway130_R1-2012_.pdf PDF icon Pictures PDF icon Staff Report 02/06/2012 - 4:38pm
Dover St 99 ZBA 2012-01 Feb 01, 2012 PDF icon DoverSt99.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 02/06/2012 - 4:37pm
Broadway 76 PB 2011-18 Dec 15, 2011 PDF icon Broadway76.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 01/25/2012 - 9:06am
Elm St 234 ZBA 2011-93 Jan 04, 2012 PDF icon ElmSt234.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Parking Memorandum
PDF icon Parking Memorandum Addendum
PDF icon Staff Report 01/25/2012 - 9:03am
Highland Ave 230 & 236 ZBA 2011-92 Jan 04, 2012 PDF icon HighlandAve230&236.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 01/25/2012 - 9:02am
Summer St 343, 345, 349, & 351 ZBA 2011-54 Aug 24, 2011 PDF icon SummerSt343.pdf PDF icon Plans 6-24-11
PDF icon Traffic Impact Assessment
PDF icon Construction Management Plan
PDF icon ASTM Screen 3-20-02
PDF icon Prelim Site Assessment 4-19-02
PDF icon Subsurface Exploration 9-23-02
PDF icon ASTM Screen 7-26-07
PDF icon Phase 1 Environ. Assessment 6-30-09
PDF icon Phase 1 Environ. Assessment 7-13-09
PDF icon Subsurface Investigation 7-15-10
PDF icon Staff Report - 8/19/11
PDF icon Environmental Consultant Peer Review Report 8/19/11
PDF icon Staff Report - 9/1/11
PDF icon Drainage Report 2/2011
PDF icon Memo to ZBA re Revised Plans 9-30-11
PDF icon Revised Plans 9-30-11
PDF icon Revised Plans 11-18-11
PDF icon Staff Report 12-1-11
PDF icon ZBA Memo 12-5-11
PDF icon DRC 11-22-11
01/04/2012 - 11:09am

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