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
Moreland Street 74 ZBA 2018-128 Nov 28, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 9-11-18 11/07/2018 - 4:19pm
Spring Hill Terrace 7 ZBA 2018-153 Nov 28, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 11-7-18
PDF icon Survey 9-25-18
11/08/2018 - 3:50pm
Murdock Street 50-54 ZBA 2018-19 Nov 28, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 12-29-17
PDF icon Accessibility Letter 12-26-17
PDF icon Drainage Report 12-19-17
PDF icon Plan Set 7-17-18
PDF icon Plan Set 9-7-18
PDF icon Plan Set 11-8-18
11/08/2018 - 6:52pm
Windsor Rd 38-40 ZBA 2018-133 Nov 28, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 11/15/2018 - 8:45pm
Broadway 112 PB 2016-11-R1-10/18 Nov 08, 2018 PDF icon Staff Report 11/02/2018 - 9:02am
Dawes Street (Cambridge Crossing/NorthPoint Parcel EF) 250 PB2017-23-MA1-0818 Nov 08, 2018 PDF icon plan set PDF icon staff report 11/05/2018 - 9:18am
Cambridge Crossing (formerly NorthPoint) Neighborhood Development Plan PB 2014-29-MA3-0818 Nov 08, 2018 PDF icon application
PDF icon PB presentation
PDF icon staff report 11/13/2018 - 9:21am
Somerville Avenue 311 PB2018-16 Nov 08, 2018 PDF icon plan set PDF icon staff report 11/05/2018 - 9:12am
Mossland St 15 ZBA 2018-124 Nov 07, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 09/17/2018 - 4:29pm
Franklin Street 30 ZBA 2018-126 Nov 07, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 10-2-18
PDF icon Plan Set 10-8-18
PDF icon Plan Set 11-2-18
PDF icon Staff Report 11/02/2018 - 11:50am
Alpine 81-83 ZBA 2018-141 Nov 07, 2018 PDF icon Existing Conditions
PDF icon ADA
PDF icon SP
PDF icon SP app
10/23/2018 - 10:59am
Beacon Street 292-294 ZBA 2018-118 Nov 07, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 10-2-18 PDF icon Staff Report 11/02/2018 - 11:59am
Linwood Street 161 ZBA 2015-49-R2-10/18 Nov 07, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 8-21-18 PDF icon Staff Report 11/02/2018 - 12:00pm
Village Terrace 2 ZBA 2018-132 Nov 07, 2018 PDF icon Plans (10.23.18) PDF icon Staff Report 11/07/2018 - 9:14am
Spring Street 34 ZBA 2018-119 Oct 24, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 10-02-18 PDF icon Staff Report 10/30/2018 - 11:54am

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