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.

Street Number Case Number First Hearing Datesort ascending Decisions Other Reports Updated date
Wheatland Street 96 ZBA 2018-175 May 15, 2019 PDF icon Plan Set 6-11-18
PDF icon Survey 5-15-18
PDF icon Plan Set 4-25-19
PDF icon Staff Report 05/08/2019 - 4:13pm
Morrison Avenue 90 ZBA 2019-35 May 15, 2019 PDF icon Plot Plan 6-25-18
PDF icon Dormer Plan 3-25-19
PDF icon Dormer Plan 5-8-19
PDF icon Staff Report 05/09/2019 - 10:18am
Broadway 57 PB 2018-08 May 02, 2019 PDF icon Plan Set 04/29/2019 - 12:45pm
Berkeley St 30 ZBA 2019-28 May 01, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set PDF icon Staff Report 05/22/2019 - 10:48am
Cameron Avenue 48 ZBA 2019-30 May 01, 2019 PDF icon Plan Set 2-27-19
PDF icon Plan Set 3-9-19
PDF icon Plan Set 4-3-19
PDF icon Plan Set 4-4-19
PDF icon Plan Set 5-20-19
PDF icon Plan Set 5-22-19
PDF icon Staff Report 05/22/2019 - 9:40am
Upland Road 56-58 ZBA 2019-32 May 01, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 12-19-18
PDF icon Plan Set 4-10-19
PDF icon Sketch 4-26-19
PDF icon Plan Set 4-29-19
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
05/23/2019 - 12:07pm
Broadway 102-104 PB 2019-12 Apr 18, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 3-6-19 PDF icon Staff Report 05/22/2019 - 10:46am
Oak Street 7 ZBA 2019-01 Apr 17, 2019 PDF icon Plan Set 1-2-19
PDF icon Accessibility Letter 1-2-19
PDF icon Sustainability
PDF icon Plan Set 3-13-19
03/15/2019 - 9:55am
Tremont St 169 ZBA 2019-17 Apr 17, 2019 PDF icon Plan Set 03/26/2019 - 7:46pm
Henderson St 42 ZBA 2018-189 Apr 17, 2019 PDF icon Plan Set 04/08/2019 - 1:26pm
Park Street 44 ZBA 2019-23 Apr 17, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon De Minimis Approval from 2011
PDF icon Drainage Report
PDF icon Pervious Surface Analysis
PDF icon Project Cost Estimate
PDF icon 44 Park St Staff Report.pdf 04/25/2019 - 3:20pm
Victoria Street 43 ZBA 2019-20 Apr 17, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans Microsoft Office document icon Staff Report 04/25/2019 - 3:15pm
Line Street and Cooney Street 88-90 and 18 ZBA 2017-73-R1-3/19 Apr 17, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Basement Plan 3-13-19 PDF icon Staff Report 05/22/2019 - 10:50am
Earle Street 2 ZBA 2018-21-E1-2/19 Apr 17, 2019 PDF icon Decision 04/25/2019 - 1:39pm
88 Line Street ZBA 2017-73-R1-3/19 Apr 17, 2019 PDF icon Decision 04/25/2019 - 3:08pm

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