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
Fountain Ave 22-24 ZBA 2018-117 Oct 24, 2018 PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 11/06/2018 - 7:33pm
Somerville Avenue 515 ZBA 2018-122 Oct 24, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 8-29-18
PDF icon Traffic Study 8-30-18
PDF icon Accessibility Narrative 8-28-18
PDF icon Part 1 of Plan Set 10-4-18
PDF icon Part 2 of Plan Set 10-4-18
PDF icon Revised Traffic Study 10-09-18
PDF icon Staff Report 10/30/2018 - 11:54am
Broadway 1154 ZBA 2018-78 Oct 24, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 5-15-18
PDF icon Plan Set 10-17-18
PDF icon Traffic Study 4-20-18
PDF icon Staff Report 10/30/2018 - 11:53am
Gilman St 108 ZBA 2018-120 Oct 17, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 10/30/2018 - 11:52am
Dane Ave 35 ZBA 2018-116 Oct 17, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 10/30/2018 - 2:17pm
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
Windsor Street 561 PB 2018-15 Oct 04, 2018 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
11/05/2018 - 9:20am
Ossipee Rd 26 ZBA 2018-113 Oct 03, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Updated Plans for Nov 7 2018
PDF icon Staff Report 11/14/2018 - 3:04pm
Cameron Avenue 45 ZBA 2016-81-R1-(08/18) Oct 03, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Staff Report 10/11/2018 - 10:06am
Elm Street 56 ZBA 2018-108 Oct 03, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 8-9-18 09/05/2018 - 12:01pm
Summer Street 3-5 ZBA 2018-107 Oct 03, 2018 PDF icon 3 - 5 Summer Street.pdf PDF icon Accessibility Narrative 7-2-18
PDF icon Plan Set 9-27-18
PDF icon Staff Report 10/10/2018 - 1:13pm
Windsor Road 5 ZBA 2018-114 Oct 03, 2018 PDF icon 5 Windsor Road.pdf PDF icon Plan Set 8-14-18
PDF icon Plot Plan 4-17-18
PDF icon Staff Report 11/06/2018 - 9:23am
Hillside Park 7 ZBA 2018-115 Oct 03, 2018 PDF icon 7 Hillside Park.pdf PDF icon Plan Set 8-29-18 PDF icon Staff Report 10/10/2018 - 1:14pm
Chestnut Street 28 ZBA 2018-100 Oct 03, 2018 PDF icon parking study
PDF icon drawing set
PDF icon environmental report
PDF icon staff report 10/02/2018 - 11:31am
Illinois Ave 15-17 ZBA 2018-110 Oct 03, 2018 PDF icon 15 - 17 Illinois Avenue.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 10/17/2018 - 10:52am

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