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.

Street Numbersort descending Case Number First Hearing Date Decisions Other Reports Updated date
Properzi Way 92 ZBA 2012-34 May 16, 2012 PDF icon ProperziWay92-100.pdf PDF icon Plans 4-17-12
PDF icon Community Concerns & Responses
PDF icon Parking Memorandum
PDF icon Environmental Document #1
PDF icon Environmental Document #2
PDF icon Plans 5-11-12
PDF icon DRC 4-26-12
PDF icon Plans 7-12-12
PDF icon Staff Report 5-10-12
PDF icon Staff Report 7-26-12
08/29/2012 - 12:46pm
Union Sq 92 PB 2015-08 Aug 06, 2015 PDF icon UnionSq92.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/20/2015 - 9:04am
Liberty Ave 92 ZBA2009-43 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Properzi Way 92-100 ZBA 2012-34-R1-5/2014 Jun 18, 2014 PDF icon ProperziWay92-100.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Previously Approved Plans
PDF icon Staff Report 06/27/2014 - 11:19am
Partridge 92-94 ZBA 2015-59 Sep 16, 2015 PDF icon Plans-Scaled Drawings PDF icon Staff Report 09/16/2015 - 11:04am
Partridge Ave 92-94 ZBA #2015-69 Sep 16, 2015 PDF icon PartridgeAve92-94.pdf PDF icon Planning Staff Report 09/30/2015 - 4:10pm
Prospect St 92-96 ZBA 2013-21 Jul 10, 2013 PDF icon ProspectSt92-96.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Traffic Memo
PDF icon Staff Report 08/19/2013 - 9:05am
Raymond Avenue 93 ZBA 2018-56 Jun 20, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 5-16-18
PDF icon Plan Set 5-31-18
PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2018 - 6:32pm
Hudson St 93 ZBA 2016-18 Mar 16, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/20/2018 - 11:02am
Beacon St 94 ZBA2000-09-R01-08 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Beacon St 94 ZBA 2012-75 Oct 03, 2012 PDF icon BeaconSt94.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Photo Simulations
PDF icon Staff Report 03/21/2013 - 4:58pm
Moreland Street 94 ZBA 2018-09 Feb 14, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 1-11-18 PDF icon Staff Report 08/07/2018 - 8:51am
Beacon St 94 ZBA2009-46 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Beacon St 94 ZBA 2014-23 May 07, 2014 PDF icon BeaconSt94.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Photo Sims
PDF icon Staff Report 02/23/2015 - 9:41am
Hudson St 95 ZBA 2013-78 Dec 11, 2013 PDF icon HudsonSt95.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 01/22/2014 - 6:09pm

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