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
Central St 119 ZBA 2012-48 Jul 11, 2012 PDF icon CentralSt119.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/29/2012 - 12:46pm
Highland Ave 129-129R ZBA 2012-45 Jul 11, 2012 PDF icon HighlandAve129-129R.pdf PDF icon Plans 6-26-12
PDF icon Plans 7-25-12
PDF icon Plans 8-28-12
PDF icon Plans 9-27-12
PDF icon Staff Report 10/26/2012 - 9:07am
Franklin Street 22 ZBA 2012-52 Jul 11, 2012 PDF icon FranklinSt22 _Denied_.pdf PDF icon Plot Plan
PDF icon Site Plans
PDF icon Staff Report 08/29/2012 - 12:47pm
Davis Square 49 ZBA 2012-16 Jul 11, 2012 PDF icon DavisSq49.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Photo Simulations
PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2012 - 11:55am
Elm Street 258 ZBA 2012-54 Jul 11, 2012 PDF icon ElmSt258.pdf PDF icon Site & Locus Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2012 - 11:53am
McGrath Hwy 844 PB 2012-10 Jul 11, 2012 PDF icon McGrathHwy844.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Photo Simulations
PDF icon Staff Report 08/29/2012 - 12:44pm
Broadway 342 PB 2012-09 Jul 11, 2012 PDF icon Broadway342.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2012 - 12:00pm
College Ave 30 ZBA 2007-29-R1-6/2012 Jul 11, 2012 PDF icon CollegeAve30.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2012 - 11:55am
Herbert Street 6 ZBA 2012-50 Jul 11, 2012 PDF icon HerbertSt6.pdf PDF icon Site & Plot Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2012 - 11:58am
Cleveland Street 10 ZBA 2012-47 Jul 11, 2012 PDF icon ClevelandSt10.pdf PDF icon Plot & Proposed Plans
PDF icon Existing Plans
PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2012 - 11:58am
Cedar St Pl 7 ZBA 2012-51 Jul 11, 2012 PDF icon CedarStPl7.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2012 - 11:52am
Cedar St 278 ZBA 2012-53 Jul 11, 2012 PDF icon CedarSt278.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2012 - 11:59am
Pearson Ave 82 ZBA 2012-46 Jul 11, 2012 PDF icon PearsonAve82.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2012 - 11:58am
Clyde St 13 ZBA 2012-49 Jul 11, 2012 PDF icon ClydeSt13_WWOP_.pdf PDF icon Plans 6-26-12 10/26/2012 - 9:10am
Tower Ct 5 ZBA 2012-44 Jun 20, 2012 PDF icon TowerCt5.pdf PDF icon DRC 12-8-11
PDF icon DRC 1-26-12
PDF icon DRC 3-22-12
PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2012 - 12:19pm

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