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 Date Decisions Other Reports Updated datesort ascending
Assembly Row 500 (Block 8) PB2017-06 Apr 06, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Index & Executive Summary
PDF icon Zoning, Transportation, & Shadow Study
PDF icon Architectural Drawings
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Staff Update Memo
PDF icon FRIT Memo
05/22/2018 - 11:16am
Somerville Avenue 515 ZBA 2018-44 Jul 18, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 3-9-18 05/21/2018 - 2:14pm
Chandler 74 ZBA 2015-99 Dec 09, 2015 PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Elevations
PDF icon Staff Report 05/17/2018 - 3:49pm
Electric Avenue 20 ZBA 2018-49 May 16, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 4-25-18 PDF icon Staff Report 05/17/2018 - 1:45pm
Broadway 337-341 ZBA 2014-37 Apr 02, 2015 PDF icon Decision
PDF icon Memo
PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Staff Report 5.14.15
PDF icon Staff Report 5.28.15
05/15/2018 - 11:03am
Broadway 144 PB 2014-36 Oct 16, 2014 PDF icon Decision
PDF icon Memo
PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 05/15/2018 - 8:50am
East Albion Street 42 ZBA 2018-24 Apr 04, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 7-17-17 PDF icon Staff Report 05/09/2018 - 3:26pm
Beacon Street 292 ZBA 2018-13 May 02, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 4-5-18
PDF icon Accessibility Narrative.pdf
PDF icon Staff Report 05/09/2018 - 3:26pm
Curtis Street 5-7 ZBA 2018-42 May 02, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 3-22-18 PDF icon Staff Report 05/09/2018 - 3:25pm
Cross Street 95-97 ZBA 2018--05 Mar 21, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Fence PDF icon Staff Report 05/03/2018 - 2:11pm
College Ave 118-124 ZBA 2017-88 Oct 04, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Elevations Existing - Proposed Current to Sept 2017
PDF icon Proposed Floor Plans Current to Sept 2017
PDF icon Existing Elevations Current to Sept 2017
PDF icon Site Plan Current to Sept 2017
PDF icon Existing Landscape Plan Current to Sept 2017
PDF icon Proposed Landscape Plan Current to Sept 2017
PDF icon Zoning Data Sheet - Current to Sept 2017
PDF icon Floor Plans - Current to Sept 2017
PDF icon Parking Plan for December 13, 2017
PDF icon Landscape Plan for December 13, 2017
PDF icon Plot Plan - Wet stamped
PDF icon Updated Staff Report for March 21 2018
PDF icon Updated Staff Report for 1-31-2018
PDF icon Staff Report for 12-13-2017
05/02/2018 - 4:45pm
Marshall St 55-57 ZBA 2018-16 Apr 18, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plot Plan
PDF icon Left elevation
PDF icon Roof renderings
PDF icon Staff Report 05/02/2018 - 4:38pm
School St 76 ZBA 2018-34 Apr 18, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 4-10-18 PDF icon Staff Report 04/27/2018 - 10:42am
Glendale Ave 26 ZBA 2018-37 Apr 18, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 3-15-18
PDF icon Rendering 3-31-18
PDF icon Staff Report 04/27/2018 - 10:41am
Preston Street 11 ZBA 2018-22 Apr 18, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 1-10-18 PDF icon Staff Report 04/27/2018 - 9:43am

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