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
Willow Ave 221 ZBA 2012-82 Oct 17, 2012 PDF icon WillowAve221_#2012-82_.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 10/26/2012 - 9:08am
Willow Ave 26-28 ZBA 2013-31 May 15, 2013 PDF icon WillowAve26-28.pdf PDF icon Plans 09/16/2013 - 11:39am
Willow Avenue 233 ZBA 2018-183 Feb 06, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 1-08-19
PDF icon Plan Set 1-17-19
PDF icon Staff Report 03/06/2019 - 12:02pm
Willow Avenue 82 ZBA 2017-30 Oct 18, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 8-16-17
PDF icon Survey Plan
PDF icon Landscape Plan 10-12-17
PDF icon Plan Set 11-2-17
PDF icon First Floor Plan 11-16-17
PDF icon Staff Report 10-18-17
PDF icon Updated Staff Report 11-8-17
PDF icon Updated Staff Report 11-29-17
08/07/2018 - 1:15pm
Wilson Avenue 5-7 ZBA 2013-01 Feb 20, 2013 PDF icon WilsonAve5-7.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 03/29/2013 - 11:45am
Wilton Street 9 ZBA 2017-97 Oct 18, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 9-12-17 PDF icon Staff Report 08/07/2018 - 12:14pm
Windom 19 2016-107 Oct 19, 2016 PDF icon WindomSt19.pdf PDF icon 19_windom_SR.pdf 09/21/2018 - 10:25am
Windsor Pl 600 ZBA2008-66 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Windsor Rd 38-40 ZBA 2018-133 Nov 28, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Updated plans for Dec 12 2018
PDF icon Windsor Rd 38 - 40 - Final Plan set for Dec 12 2018
PDF icon Staff Report 12/19/2018 - 11:59am
Windsor Rd 1-3 ZBA2008-16 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Windsor Road 5 ZBA 2018-114 Oct 03, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 8-14-18
PDF icon Plot Plan 4-17-18
PDF icon Staff Report 12/26/2018 - 11:10am
Windsor St 561 PB 2010-07-R1 (3/2012) Apr 05, 2012 PDF icon WindsorSt561.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon DRC 2-23-12
PDF icon Staff Report 04/24/2012 - 4:35pm
Windsor St 561 PB2009-16 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Windsor Street 561 PB 2018-15 Oct 04, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon plan set
PDF icon phasing drawings
PDF icon accessibility narrative
PDF icon schedule of uses
PDF icon staff report
PDF icon revised staff report
PDF icon re-revised staff report
12/14/2018 - 9:40am
Winslow Ave 74 ZBA 2019-11 Apr 17, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Plans
10/29/2019 - 3:42pm

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