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
Beacon St 292 ZBA 2007-11-E1 (6/2011) Jul 13, 2011 PDF icon BeaconSt292.pdf PDF icon Staff Report 08/03/2011 - 4:16pm
Beacon St 308 ZBA2008-01 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Beacon St 266 ZBA 2014-61-E1(8/2015) Sep 16, 2015 PDF icon BeaconSt266.pdf PDF icon Staff Report 09/30/2015 - 1:43pm
Beacon St 298 ZBA2008-40 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Beacon St 120 ZBA 2012-104 Jan 23, 2013 PDF icon BeaconSt120.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 03/29/2013 - 11:02am
Beacon St 94 ZBA2009-46 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Beacon St 6-8 ZBA 2010-65-R1 (2/2012) Apr 04, 2012 PDF icon BeaconSt6-8.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 04/24/2012 - 4:33pm
Beacon St 292 ZBA2007-11-R0508 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Beacon St 292 ZBA2008-07 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Beacon St 73 ZBA 2014-52 Jul 16, 2014 PDF icon BeaconSt73 (WWOP).pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/19/2014 - 3:57pm
Beacon St 292 ZBA2007-11-R0609 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Beacon St 318 ZBA 2013-91 Apr 02, 2014 PDF icon BeaconSt318.pdf PDF icon Plans 12.17.13
PDF icon Plans 4.3.13
PDF icon Plans 8.25.14
PDF icon Plans 9.22.14
PDF icon Parking Memo 8.11.14
PDF icon Parking Memo 8.28.14
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Staff Report 9.25.14
10/15/2014 - 4:02pm
Beacon St 15-17 ZBA2008-56 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Beacon St 104 ZBA 2016-78-R1-6-2018 Jul 18, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans for Remand to ZBA July 18 2018
PDF icon Updated plans for Remand to ZBA 2018
PDF icon Remand
PDF icon Staff Report 09/07/2018 - 10:34am
Beacon St 191 ZBA 2015-79-R1-11/16 Feb 04, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/17/2018 - 4:15pm

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