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 a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals and 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.

Danielle Fillis Evans, Clerk

Danielle Fillis 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.

Drew Kane, Alternate

Drew is currently the Senior Land Use Planner with the City of Cambridge Community Development Department. Prior to the City of Cambridge, he spent 15 years as a consultant in architecture and planning firms in Atlanta, New York and Boston. Most recently, he was a Senior Urban Planner and Associate at Utile, Inc., a multi-disciplinary architecture and planning firm in Boston.. 

With a professional focus on the regeneration of urban environments, Drew's areas of expertise includes streetscape and public realm design, master planning and regulatory development with particular interest in waterfronts and industrial districts. 

Drew received a Master of City and Regional Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Bachelor’s of Art in Art History from the University of Georgia.

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 Numbersort descending Case Number First Hearing Date Decisions Other Reports Updated date
Porter Street 109 ZBA 2017-126 Jan 03, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 10-26-17 PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2018 - 6:29pm
Hancock St 109 ZBA 2012-22 Apr 18, 2012 PDF icon HancockSt109.pdf PDF icon Plot & Site Plans PDF icon Staff Report 06/11/2012 - 1:01pm
College Ave 109 ZBA 2014-77 Sep 03, 2014 PDF icon CollegeAve109.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Revised Site Plan
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Staff Report (Updated)
11/24/2014 - 3:30pm
Prospect St 109-111 ZBA 2018-139 Dec 12, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set Memo
PDF icon Plan Set 10-4-2018
PDF icon Plan Set for 2-6-2019 ZBA
PDF icon Plan Set for 2-20-2019 ZBA
PDF icon Plot Plan
PDF icon Staff Report 03/12/2019 - 1:28pm
Albion St 11 ZBA 2014-91 Oct 01, 2014 PDF icon AlbionSt11.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/25/2015 - 8:55pm
Linden Ave 11 ZBA 2012-27 May 02, 2012 PDF icon LindenAve11.pdf PDF icon Plans 4-6-12
PDF icon Plans 8-8-12
PDF icon Parking Plan
PDF icon Parking Memorandum
PDF icon Plans 11-19-12
PDF icon Parking Memorandum
PDF icon Updated Staff Report 2
PDF icon Updated Staff Report 3
PDF icon Revised Plans
PDF icon Carriage House Data Survey Memo
PDF icon Staff Report 8-9-12
PDF icon Staff Report 11-21-12
PDF icon Memo 10-2-13
PDF icon Plans 10-2-13
10/21/2013 - 11:33am
Assembly Row Block 11 Daycare (251 Grand Union Blvd) 11 PB 2016-02 Feb 18, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon F-I Civil Plans Final small.pdf PDF icon Staff Report 09/17/2018 - 1:21pm
Preston Street 11 ZBA 2018-22 Apr 18, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 1-10-18 PDF icon Staff Report 08/03/2018 - 11:28am
Church St 11 ZBA 2012-18 Apr 04, 2012 PDF icon ChurchSt11.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Parking Memorandum
PDF icon Staff Report 05/25/2012 - 9:03am
Rossmore Street 11 ZBA 2019-41 Jul 17, 2019 PDF icon Plan Set 4-17-19
PDF icon Plan Set 6-27-19
PDF icon Staff Report 07/12/2019 - 10:30am
Assembly Row Block 11 (399 Revolution Dr/Grand Union Blvd) 11 PB 2014-17 Jul 10, 2014 PDF icon AssemblyRowBlock11wAppendix.pdf PDF icon Civil Plans
PDF icon Arch Plans & Perspectives
PDF icon Open Space Plan
PDF icon Utility Analysis
PDF icon LEED Worksheet
PDF icon Presentation to DRC (Renderings, Shadow Studies, Connectivity)
PDF icon Transportation Analysis
PDF icon Transportation Appendix
PDF icon Staff Report 11/20/2014 - 11:50am
Bay State Ave 11 ZBA 2018-101 Oct 03, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 10/31/2018 - 3:52pm
Glenwood Road 11 ZBA 2018-30 Mar 21, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 2-6-18 PDF icon Staff Report 08/03/2018 - 11:32am
Lovell Street 11 ZBA 2018-184 Mar 20, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 1-8-19
PDF icon Plan Set 1-17-19
PDF icon Staff Report 03/26/2019 - 3:08pm
Bay State Ave 11 ZBA 2018-101 Sep 17, 2018 PDF icon 11 Bay State Avenue.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Updated Plans for Oct 3 2018
PDF icon Staff Report 10/10/2018 - 1:22pm


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