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
Washington St 105-107 ZBA 2017-91 Feb 14, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set for Feb 14, 2018 PDF icon Staff Report 03/26/2018 - 10:10am
Prescott St 54 ZBA 2017-118 Feb 07, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans October 2017
PDF icon Plans for Feb 14, 2018
PDF icon Prescott St 54- Staff Report.pdf 03/26/2018 - 10:10am
Cutter St 6 ZBA 2018-02 Mar 07, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans for Mar 7 2018
PDF icon Plot Plan
PDF icon Staff Report 03/26/2018 - 10:09am
Walnut 130 ZBA 2017-70 Oct 04, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Landscaping plans
PDF icon Proposed Plants
PDF icon Walnut St 130 - Updated Plans Oct 2017 Combined.pdf
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Staff Report - Updated
03/26/2018 - 10:08am
Rush St 28 ZBA 2018-17 Feb 14, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plot Plan & Design 03/26/2018 - 10:08am
McGrath Highway 51 ZBA 2017-46 Jul 12, 2017 PDF icon Plan Set 6-19-17
PDF icon Plan Set 10-4-17
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
PDF icon 2nd Updated Staff Report
03/23/2018 - 12:29pm
Glenwood Rd 116 ZBA 2014-58 Aug 06, 2014 PDF icon GlenwoodRd116.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 03/16/2018 - 10:47am
Irvington Road 31 ZBA2018-12 Mar 07, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon drawing set
PDF icon photographs
PDF icon Staff Report 03/15/2018 - 10:34am
Royce Place 3 ZBA 2017-74 Nov 08, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 10-18-17 PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
03/15/2018 - 10:33am
Highland Avenue 314-318 ZBA 2017-111 Jan 17, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Awning Rendering PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
03/15/2018 - 10:33am
Highland Avenue 160 ZBA 2018-15 Mar 07, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 12-12-17 PDF icon Staff Report 03/15/2018 - 10:32am
North Street 200 ZBA 2017-125 Jan 03, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 11-24-17
PDF icon Plan Set 1-30-18
PDF icon 3D Rendering
PDF icon Plan Set 2-28-18
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
03/15/2018 - 10:32am
Appleton Street 8-10 ZBA 2017-120 Dec 13, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 10-11-17 PDF icon Staff Report 03/15/2018 - 10:31am
Marshall Street 55-57 ZBA 2018-16 Mar 21, 2018 PDF icon Plan 11-15-17 03/12/2018 - 3:35pm
Broadway 130 PB 2018-05 Apr 05, 2018 PDF icon Fat Hen graphic 1-24-18
PDF icon Perfect Dental graphic 1-24-18
03/07/2018 - 10:54am

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