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
Beacon St 104 ZBA 2016-78-R1-6-2018 Jul 18, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans for Remand to ZBA July 18 2018
PDF icon Updated plans for Remand to ZBA 2018
PDF icon Remand
PDF icon Staff Report 09/07/2018 - 10:34am
Robinson St 11 ZBA 2018-07 Jul 18, 2018 PDF icon Decision
PDF icon Memo
PDF icon Plans for July 18 2018 PDF icon Staff Report 07/27/2018 - 11:33am
Kenneson Rd 21 ZBA 2018-76 Jul 18, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans for July 18 2018 PDF icon Kenneson Rd 21 - Staff Report.pdf 07/23/2018 - 2:21pm
Broadway 1252 ZBA 2018-38 Jul 12, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 06/11/2018 - 4:57pm
Broadway 176-182 PB 2017-22 Jun 21, 2018 PDF icon Plans for June 21 2018 Plng Board
PDF icon Updated Plan Set for 6-21-2018
PDF icon Staff Report 08/07/2018 - 8:46am
Broadway 105 PB2018-11 Jun 21, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon plan set PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2018 - 6:31pm
Smith Ave 10 ZBA 2018-62 Jun 20, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan set for 6-20-2018 PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2018 - 6:29pm
Mt. Vernon St 74 ZBA 2017-89 Jun 20, 2018 PDF icon Decision (WWOP) PDF icon Plans for 6-20-2018 PDF icon Staff Report 08/13/2018 - 9:44am
Berkeley 22 ZBA 2018-54 Jun 20, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plot Plan PDF icon Staff Report 07/23/2018 - 2:23pm
Rush St 75 ZBA 2018-66 Jun 20, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set for 6-20-2018 PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2018 - 6:28pm
Harvard 40 ZBA 2018-36 Jun 20, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set for June 6 2018 PDF icon Staff Report 08/22/2018 - 5:30pm
Cedar Street 165 ZBA 2018-32 Jun 20, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 4-11-18
PDF icon Accessibility Letter 3-2-18
PDF icon Plan Set 6-5-18
PDF icon Soil Report 6-1-18
PDF icon Plan Set 6-12-18
PDF icon Plan Set 6-14-18
PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2018 - 6:32pm
Beacon Street 285-291 ZBA 2018-63 Jun 20, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 5-2-18
PDF icon Plan Set 6-14-18
PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2018 - 6:32pm
Inner Belt Road 70 ZBA 2018-74 Jun 20, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 5-29-18 PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2018 - 6:31pm
Myrtle Street 41 ZBA 2018-65 Jun 20, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 1-23-18 PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2018 - 6:32pm

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