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)
  • Members

  • Reports & Decisions

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 Numbersort descending First Hearing Date Decisions Other Reports Updated date
Maxwell's Green 5 PB 2015-01 PDF icon MaxwellsGreen5.pdf 02/23/2015 - 9:23am
Broadway 331-333 PB 2015-02 Apr 16, 2015 PDF icon Broadway331-333.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Photo Sims
PDF icon Staff Report 06/11/2015 - 11:03am
South Street 138 PB 2015-03 Apr 02, 2015 PDF icon SouthSt138 (WWOP).pdf 05/13/2015 - 4:38pm
Broadway 328 PB 2015-04 Jun 25, 2015 PDF icon Broadway328.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Plans 7.9.2015
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Staff Report 7.9.2015
07/28/2015 - 10:30am
Grand Union Boulevard 625 PB 2015-06 May 28, 2015 PDF icon GrandUnionBlvd625.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 06/18/2015 - 10:10am
Assembly Row Block 9 9 PB 2015-07 Jun 25, 2015 PDF icon ASQBlock9 (Combined).pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 07/28/2015 - 10:32am
Union Sq 92 PB 2015-08 Aug 06, 2015 PDF icon UnionSq92.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/20/2015 - 9:04am
Union Sq 31-33 PB 2015-09 Aug 06, 2015 PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08.2015
PDF icon Staff Report 09.2015
09/03/2015 - 1:27pm
Washington St 197 PB 2015-11 Oct 22, 2015 PDF icon WashingtonSt197 (WWOP).pdf PDF icon Plan
PDF icon Transportation Memo
PDF icon Staff Report 11/02/2015 - 12:58pm
Washington St 197 PB 2015-12 Dec 10, 2015 PDF icon Plan
PDF icon Attachments
PDF icon Transportation Memo
PDF icon Staff Report 12/04/2015 - 12:17pm
Somerville Ave 444 PB 2015-53 Aug 20, 2015 PDF icon 444 Somerville Ave.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/21/2015 - 10:48am
McGrath 434 PB 2016- Jul 08, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Staff Report 09/20/2018 - 1:25pm
Assembly Row Block 11 Daycare (251 Grand Union Blvd) 11 PB 2016-02 Feb 18, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon F-I Civil Plans Final small.pdf PDF icon Staff Report 09/17/2018 - 1:21pm
Washington St 181 PB 2016-03 Mar 03, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/21/2018 - 10:16am
Mystic Ave 654 PB 2016-05 Apr 07, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/20/2018 - 5:28pm

Pages

Subscribe to Reports and Decisions