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
Avon Street 28 ZBA 2018-01 Feb 14, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 12-27-17
PDF icon Plan Set 1-15-18
PDF icon Staff Report 02/28/2018 - 9:38am
Moreland Street 94 ZBA 2018-09 Feb 14, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 1-11-18 PDF icon Staff Report 02/28/2018 - 9:38am
Broadway 118-120 PB2016-16 Oct 06, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon drawing set PDF icon Staff Report 02/23/2018 - 11:22am
Ward St 10-12 ZBA 2017-122 Jan 17, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Ward St 10-12 - Plan Set for January 17, 2017 PDF icon Ward St 10-12 - Staff Report.pdf 02/22/2018 - 12:42pm
Lake Street 22 ZBA 2018-18 Mar 21, 2018 PDF icon Original Plan Set 02/16/2018 - 11:59am
Broadway 192 PB 2017-28 Dec 14, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Signage 11-22-17
PDF icon Photo of sign
PDF icon Signage 2-6-18
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
02/14/2018 - 2:33pm
Flint St 42 ZBA 2017-121 Jan 31, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Plot Plan
PDF icon Staff Report for Jan 31 2018 02/14/2018 - 12:45pm
Cross Street 20 R ZBA 2017-127 Jan 31, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 11-3-17 PDF icon Staff Report 02/14/2018 - 11:56am
Cross Street 24-28 ZBA 2017-132 Jan 31, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 12-14-17 PDF icon Staff Report 02/14/2018 - 11:55am
Elm Street 197 ZBA 2017-133 Jan 31, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 11-30-17 PDF icon 197 Elm St Staff Report.pdf 02/14/2018 - 11:55am
Linden Place 12 ZBA 2017-129 Jan 31, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon drawing set PDF icon Staff Report 02/14/2018 - 11:54am
Mystic Ave 654 PB 2018-01 Jan 31, 2018 PDF icon Plans for January 31, 2018
PDF icon Plans for Feb 13, 2018
PDF icon Staff Report for Jan 31 2018
PDF icon Updated Staff Report for Feb 13, 2018
PDF icon 654 Mystic Plans for 2-13-2018 - updated w A020 footnote correction for lot sq.ft_..pdf
02/12/2018 - 11:42am
Somerville Ave 382 PB 2018-02 Mar 08, 2018 PDF icon drawing set 02/08/2018 - 4:52pm
Murdock Street 50-54 ZBA 2018-19 Mar 21, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 12-29-17
PDF icon Accessibility Letter 12-26-17
PDF icon Drainage Report 12-19-17
02/07/2018 - 11:31am
Crescent St 24 ZBA 2017-113 Jan 17, 2018 PDF icon ZBA Decision PDF icon Plot Plan
PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Crescent St 24 - Staff Report.pdf 02/06/2018 - 4:00pm

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