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
Summer St 62C ZBA 2012-88 Dec 12, 2012 PDF icon SummerSt62C.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 01/03/2013 - 10:06am
Summer St 73 ZBA 2012-91 Dec 12, 2012 PDF icon SummerSt73.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Memo 1.3.13
03/29/2013 - 11:43am
Sycamore St 112-116 ZBA 2012-90 Dec 12, 2012 PDF icon SycamoreSt112-116.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Memo 1.3.13
03/29/2013 - 11:44am
Crown St 0 ZBA 2012-94 Dec 12, 2012 PDF icon CrownSt0.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Memo 1.3.13
03/29/2013 - 11:32am
Irving Street 70 ZBA 2012-100 Dec 12, 2012 PDF icon IrvingSt70.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 01/03/2013 - 10:08am
Weston Avenue 15 ZBA 2012-96 Dec 12, 2012 PDF icon WestonAve15_#2012-96_.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Photo Simulations
PDF icon Staff Report 01/03/2013 - 10:07am
Fellsway West 100 ZBA 2012-57 Dec 12, 2012 PDF icon Structural Evaluation Report
PDF icon Peer Review of Structural Evaluation Report
02/23/2015 - 9:38am
College Avenue 27 ZBA 2012-97 Dec 12, 2012 PDF icon CollegeAve27_#2012-97_.pdf PDF icon Photo Simulatons
PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Staff Report 01/03/2013 - 10:07am
Washington St 255 PB 2012-20 Nov 29, 2012 PDF icon WashingtonSt255.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 01/03/2013 - 10:09am
Holland St 231-233 ZBA 2012-98 Nov 28, 2012 PDF icon HollandSt231-233.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Plans 12.12.12
PDF icon Staff Report 12.6.12
PDF icon Staff Report 1.3.13
03/29/2013 - 11:37am
Broadway 761 ZBA 2012-92 Nov 28, 2012 PDF icon Broadway761.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Memo 1.3.13
03/29/2013 - 11:28am
Somerville Ave 765 ZBA 2012-93 Nov 28, 2012 PDF icon SomervilleAve765.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Memo 1.3.13
03/29/2013 - 11:42am
Webster Ave 47 PB 2012-19 Nov 08, 2012 PDF icon WebsterAve47.pdf PDF icon Plans 10-22-12
PDF icon Phase I ESA Review
PDF icon Plans 10-26-12
PDF icon Staff Report 01/03/2013 - 10:08am
Broadway 862 ZBA 2012-86 Nov 07, 2012 PDF icon Broadway862.pdf PDF icon plans PDF icon Staff Report 01/03/2013 - 10:12am
Dane 24-28 ZBA 2012-85 Nov 07, 2012 PDF icon DaneSt24-28.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 01/03/2013 - 10:11am

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