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.

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
88 Line Street ZBA 2017-73-R1-3/19 Apr 17, 2019 PDF icon Decision 04/25/2019 - 3:08pm
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
Adams Street 65-69 ZBA 2019-64 Aug 07, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 6-13-19
PDF icon Plan Set 7-29-19
PDF icon Staff Report 08/12/2019 - 4:13pm
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 2 ZBA 2019-62 Sep 18, 2019 PDF icon Plan Set PDF icon Staff Report 09/10/2019 - 8:59pm

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