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 currently the chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals as Chair. She 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.

  • Richard Rossetti, Clerk

Richard Rossetti has served on the Zoning Board of Appeals for over 14 years and is the Distribution Manager for the Spaulding Brick Company. He has also held a position with the Somerville Dreams For Youth Foundation and served 8 years on the Somerville High School Scholarship Foundation. He is a two-time member of the award-winning Somerville All-American City delegation.

  • Danielle Evans

Danielle 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.

  • Anne Brockelman, Alternate

Anne Brockelman, AIA, LEED AP BD+C is an architect with 17 years of experience and the Associate Principal at Perry Dean Rogers Partners Architects and Director of Sustainable Design. She graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in Art History and Studio Art and a Master of Architecture from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. She also has served as adjunct faculty at the Boston Architectural College since 2001 and received the Certificate in Design Education in 2006.

Reports and Decisions

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

Streetsort descending Number Case Number First Hearing Date Decisions Other Reports Updated date
13 School Street ZBA #2016-33 Apr 20, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/20/2018 - 7:09pm
17-25 / 227-229 Murdock Street / Cedar Street ZBA 2016-129 Jan 18, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Staff Report 09/20/2018 - 4:42pm
21 Magnus ZBA 2015-104 Feb 17, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/20/2018 - 12:42pm
25 Ivaloo St ZBA 2016-145 Feb 01, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Staff Report 09/20/2018 - 11:54am
43 Oak ZBA 2016-89 Oct 05, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/20/2018 - 6:25pm
Aberdeen Rd 9-11 ZBA 2014-123 Jan 21, 2015 PDF icon AberdeenRd9-11.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Memo - new zoning analysis
02/23/2015 - 9:16am
Aberdeen Road 9-11 ZBA 2014-123 Jan 21, 2015 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan PDF icon Memo - new zoning analysis
PDF icon Staff Report
08/09/2018 - 5:25pm
Aberdeen Road 10 ZBA 2016-29 Apr 20, 2016 PDF icon Decision 09/17/2018 - 11:14am
Adelaide Road 9 ZBA 2017-17 May 03, 2017 PDF icon Plan Set 1-18-17 08/07/2018 - 1:20pm
Adrian 40 ZBA 2016-63 May 18, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/17/2018 - 11:13am
Adrian St 39 ZBA 2011-61 Sep 21, 2011 PDF icon AdrianSt39.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 10/12/2011 - 11:45am
Adrian St 45 ZBA 2014-01 Jul 16, 2014 PDF icon AdrianSt45 (WWOP).pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Parking Assessment
PDF icon Staff Report 11/24/2014 - 3:27pm
Adrian St 20 ZBA 2018-53 Jun 20, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set for 6-20-18 PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2018 - 6:27pm
Albion 25 ZBA 2016-30 Apr 06, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/17/2018 - 11:20am
Albion Pl 12-14 ZBA2008-42 PDF icon Albion Place 12-14.pdf PDF icon PB Recommendation
PDF icon Staff Report
06/01/2010 - 8:58am

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