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
Broadway 595 ZBA 2018-94 Sep 17, 2018 PDF icon 595 Broadway.pdf PDF icon Plan Set 6-25-18
PDF icon Plan Set 8-31-18
PDF icon Plan Set 9-25-18
PDF icon Staff Report 10/10/2018 - 1:18pm
Rogers Ave 76-78 ZBA 2018-95 Sep 17, 2018 PDF icon Rogers76.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/27/2018 - 2:54pm
Medford Street 9 & 39 PB2018-13 Sep 06, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon drawing package PDF icon staff report 09/12/2018 - 9:25am
Revolution Drive (XMBLY Block 23) 290 PB2018-12 Sep 06, 2018 PDF icon ORIGINAL - cover letter
PDF icon ORIGINAL - executive summary
PDF icon ORIGINAL - application & waivers
PDF icon ORIGINAL - site photos
PDF icon ORIGINAL - zoning compliance
PDF icon ORIGINAL - transportation narrative
PDF icon ORIGINAL - utility analysis
PDF icon ORIGINAL - stormwater memo
PDF icon ORIGINAL - landscape plans
PDF icon ORIGINAL - open space
PDF icon ORIGINAL - LEED narrative
PDF icon ORIGINAL - sustainability questionnaire
PDF icon ORIGINAL - mobility management plan
PDF icon ORIGINAL - transportation access plan
PDF icon ORIGINAL - articles of incorporation
PDF icon ORIGINAL - building diagrams
PDF icon ORIGINAL - shadow studies
PDF icon ORIGINAL - architectural drawings
PDF icon ORIGINAL - architectural renderings
PDF icon ORIGINAL - civil plans
PDF icon REVISED - executive summary
PDF icon REVISED - application
PDF icon REVISED - zoning transportation utility
PDF icon REVISED - diagrams & open space
PDF icon REVISED - LEED Sustainability Mobility
PDF icon REVISED - site photos
PDF icon REVISED - landscape plans
PDF icon REVISED - architectural plans & elevations
PDF icon REVISED - transportation access plan
PDF icon REVISED - shadow studies
PDF icon REVISED - renderings
PDF icon REVISED - civil site plans
PDF icon REVISED - stormwater memo
PDF icon Lotting Plan for future subdivision
PDF icon NEW architectural elevations - 101718
PDF icon NEW architectural renderings - 101718
PDF icon NEW architectural plans - 101718
PDF icon NEW landscape plans - 101718
PDF icon NEW mobility management - 101718
PDF icon NEW cover/summary/application - 101718
PDF icon NEW zoning/transportation/application - 101718
PDF icon NEW diagrams/open space/certification - 101718
PDF icon NEW sustainability - 101718
PDF icon NEW transportation access - 101718
PDF icon NEW stormwater memo - 101718
PDF icon NEW civil plans - 101718
PDF icon NEW shadow studies - 101718
PDF icon draft staff report & findings
PDF icon revised report, findings, and draft conditions
10/18/2018 - 12:15pm
School Street 76 ZBA 2018-103 Sep 05, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 7-26-18
PDF icon Accessibility Narrative 7-26-18
PDF icon Staff Report 09/12/2018 - 9:26am
Greene Street 5 ZBA 2018-104 Sep 05, 2018 PDF icon GreeneSt5.pdf PDF icon Plan Set 8-2-18
PDF icon Plan Set 9-11-18
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
09/27/2018 - 2:51pm
Fremont St 17 ZBA 2018-61 Sep 05, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set - Initial Submission
PDF icon Plan Set for 9-5-2018
PDF icon Staff Report 11/14/2018 - 3:02pm
Highland Ave 124 ZBA 2018-93 Aug 22, 2018 PDF icon Plans July 2018 07/31/2018 - 4:43pm
Laurel Street 46 ZBA 2018-98 Aug 22, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 6-29-18
PDF icon Accessibility Narrative 7-2-18
PDF icon Staff Report 08/30/2018 - 11:50am
Highland Avenue 144 ZBA 2018-97 Aug 22, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 6-29-18 08/03/2018 - 12:05pm
Dane Street 54 ZBA 2018-85 Aug 22, 2018 PDF icon DaneSt54.pdf PDF icon Plan Set 6-12-18
PDF icon Plans 9-5-18
PDF icon Plans 9-12-18
PDF icon Staff Report 09/27/2018 - 2:55pm
Ware Street 8-10 ZBA 2018-80 Aug 22, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 6-13-18 PDF icon Staff Report 08/30/2018 - 11:49am
Lowell Street 125 ZBA 2018-89 Aug 22, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon initial drawing set
PDF icon revised drawing set
PDF icon transportation fact sheet
PDF icon stormwater report
PDF icon staff report
PDF icon revised staff report
PDF icon Planning Board presentation
10/16/2018 - 3:49pm
Avon St 12 ZBA 2018-96 Aug 22, 2018 PDF icon Decision (WWOP) PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Plans - Updated for Aug 22, 2018
PDF icon Staff Report 09/04/2018 - 3:19pm
Medford Street 448 ZBA 2018-91 Aug 08, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 01-25-18 PDF icon Staff Report 08/13/2018 - 9:45am

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