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
Wallace St 99 ZBA 2014-68 Aug 20, 2014 PDF icon WallaceSt99.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/28/2014 - 9:27am
Bailey Road 99-101 ZBA 2016-17 Mar 16, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/17/2018 - 3:48pm
Grand Union Boulevard Block 5B PB2017-05-R1-0818 Oct 04, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon plan set
PDF icon revised site plan
PDF icon staff report 11/01/2018 - 6:29pm
ASQ Block 5B PB 2017-05 Apr 06, 2017 PDF icon ASQ Block 5B (Combined).pdf 08/06/2018 - 11:38am
Boynton Yards - 1 Earle Street Building 1 ZBA2018-20 & PB2018-03 Apr 05, 2018 PDF icon Variance Decision
PDF icon SPSR Decision
PDF icon site plan
PDF icon building plans
PDF icon building elevations
PDF icon traffic impact study
PDF icon renderings
PDF icon soil/environmental report
PDF icon site photos
PDF icon sewer calculations
PDF icon context map
PDF icon shadow analysis
PDF icon physical model photos
PDF icon stormwater report
PDF icon narrative
PDF icon Presentation: May 3rd Planning Board
PDF icon Variance Staff Report
PDF icon Preliminary SPSR Staff Report
PDF icon 180426_Boynton yards_PB revisions (2).pdf
PDF icon Final SPSR Staff Report
08/03/2018 - 11:23am
Boynton Yards - 2 Earle Street Building 2 ZBA2018-21 & PB2018-04 Apr 04, 2018 PDF icon Variance Decision
PDF icon SPSR Decision
PDF icon soil/environmental report
PDF icon site plan
PDF icon building elevations
PDF icon building plans
PDF icon site photos
PDF icon traffic impact study
PDF icon renderings
PDF icon sewer calculations
PDF icon context map
PDF icon shadow analysis
PDF icon physical model photos
PDF icon stormwater report
PDF icon narrative
PDF icon Variance Staff Report
PDF icon Preliminary SPSR Staff Report
PDF icon Final SPSR Staff Report
08/03/2018 - 11:23am
Union Square CDSP PB 2017-21 Nov 20, 2017 PDF icon CDSP decision PDF icon Revised: USQ CDSP Application
PDF icon Revised: Appendix 1 – Applicant Info
PDF icon Revised: Appendix 3 – Civic Space
PDF icon Appendix 4 – T.I.S. & Mobility
PDF icon Revised: Lot & Block Plans
PDF icon Revised: Thoroughfare Plans
PDF icon Revised: Utility Exhibits
PDF icon Revised: Appendix 2 - Neighborhood Mtg
PDF icon Preliminary Staff Report - prior to testimony
PDF icon mobility management memo
PDF icon Memo in response to 11/20/17 questions
08/07/2018 - 8:58am
NorthPoint Dawes Street PB 2016-20 Nov 08, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans 09/20/2018 - 6:00pm
25 Ivaloo St ZBA 2016-145 Feb 01, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Staff Report 09/20/2018 - 11:54am
Assembly Row Line Park Building B PB2016-14-R1-11/17 Jan 30, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Elevations & proposed screening PDF icon Staff Report 08/07/2018 - 8:56am
88 Line Street ZBA 2017-73-R1-3/19 Apr 17, 2019 PDF icon Decision 04/25/2019 - 3:08pm
21 Magnus ZBA 2015-104 Feb 17, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/20/2018 - 12:42pm
17-25 / 227-229 Murdock Street / Cedar Street ZBA 2016-129 Jan 18, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Staff Report 09/20/2018 - 4:42pm
n/a n/a Housing Policy Changes Dec 07, 2016 PDF icon ZBA Decision
PDF icon PB Decision
08/06/2018 - 11:37am
NorthPoint NDP PB 2014-29-MA-0916 Nov 17, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans 09/20/2018 - 6:22pm

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