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
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
Albion Pl 12-14 ZBA2008-42 Sep 17, 2008 PDF icon Decision PDF icon PBReport
PDF icon Staff Report
09/11/2018 - 1:08pm
Albion St 11 ZBA 2014-91 Oct 01, 2014 PDF icon AlbionSt11.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/25/2015 - 8:55pm
Albion St 100 ZBA2009-24 PDF icon Albion St100.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon PB Recommendation
PDF icon Staff Report
06/01/2010 - 9:05am
Albion St 29R, Unit 1 ZBA 2011-40 Jun 08, 2011 PDF icon AlbionSt29R.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 06/21/2011 - 10:19am
Albion St 100 ZBA2009-24 Jul 15, 2009 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon PBReport
PDF icon Staff Report
09/11/2018 - 4:06pm
Albion St 65 ZBA 2018-179 Feb 06, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Plot Plan
PDF icon Staff Report 03/11/2019 - 2:29pm
Alewife Brook Pkwy 395 ZBA 2018-40 Nov 07, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Plans for November 28, 2018
PDF icon Updated Plans for November 28, 2018
PDF icon Staff Report 12/12/2018 - 10:22am
Allen Ct 10 ZBA 2013-12 Aug 21, 2013 PDF icon AllenCt10.pdf PDF icon Plans 8.6.2013
PDF icon Plans 8.14.2013
PDF icon Plans 11.12.2013
PDF icon Landscape Plan
PDF icon Plans 12.17.2013
PDF icon Plans 12.20.2013
PDF icon Staff Report 01/22/2014 - 5:54pm
Allen St 34 ZBA2007-59 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Allen St 42 ZBA2008-67 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Allen St 42 ZBA2008-67-R0409 06/07/2010 - 11:48am
Allen St 37 ZBA 2016-68 Jul 13, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans - 37 Allen Street 6-9-2016.pdf PDF icon Staff Report 09/17/2018 - 11:44am
Alpine 13 ZBA 2016-75 Jul 12, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Updated plans PDF icon Updated staff report 08/06/2018 - 12:12pm
Alpine 81-83 ZBA 2018-141 Nov 07, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon ADA
PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Shadow Study
PDF icon Updated plans for March 20, 2019
PDF icon Updated Plans for June 5, 2019 ZBA
PDF icon Staff Report 07/02/2019 - 11:15am

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