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 ascending First Hearing Date Decisions Other Reports Updated date
Boynton Yards - 2 Earle Street Building 2 ZBA2018-21 & PB2018-04 Apr 04, 2018 PDF icon Variance Decision
PDF icon SPSR Decision
PDF icon soil/environmental report
PDF icon site plan
PDF icon building elevations
PDF icon building plans
PDF icon site photos
PDF icon traffic impact study
PDF icon renderings
PDF icon sewer calculations
PDF icon context map
PDF icon shadow analysis
PDF icon physical model photos
PDF icon stormwater report
PDF icon narrative
PDF icon Variance Staff Report
PDF icon Preliminary SPSR Staff Report
PDF icon Final SPSR Staff Report
08/03/2018 - 11:23am
Boynton Yards - 1 Earle Street Building 1 ZBA2018-20 & PB2018-03 Apr 05, 2018 PDF icon Variance Decision
PDF icon SPSR Decision
PDF icon site plan
PDF icon building plans
PDF icon building elevations
PDF icon traffic impact study
PDF icon renderings
PDF icon soil/environmental report
PDF icon site photos
PDF icon sewer calculations
PDF icon context map
PDF icon shadow analysis
PDF icon physical model photos
PDF icon stormwater report
PDF icon narrative
PDF icon Presentation: May 3rd Planning Board
PDF icon Variance Staff Report
PDF icon Preliminary SPSR Staff Report
PDF icon 180426_Boynton yards_PB revisions (2).pdf
PDF icon Final SPSR Staff Report
08/03/2018 - 11:23am
Irvington Road 31 ZBA2018-12 Mar 07, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon drawing set
PDF icon photographs
PDF icon Staff Report 08/07/2018 - 8:48am
Montgomery Avenue 7 ZBA2015-98-R1-1018 Dec 12, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon cover letter
PDF icon site plan (BP)
PDF icon constructed photos
PDF icon violation
PDF icon MontgomeryAve7_Revision-StaffReport-121218.pdf 12/26/2018 - 11:12am
Garrison Ave 30 ZBA2010-15 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Medford St 415B ZBA2010-12 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Bonair St 59-61 ZBA2010-10 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Forster St 18 ZBA2010-09 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Lexington Ave 67 ZBA2010-08 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Russell Rd 47 ZBA2010-06 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Elm St 260 ZBA2010-04 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Highland Ave 230 & 236 ZBA2010-02 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Third Ave 44-48 ZBA2010-01 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Summer St 343-351 ZBA2009-67 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Broadway 864 ZBA2009-63 05/20/2010 - 7:10am

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