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
Lake Street 22 ZBA 2018-18 Mar 21, 2018 PDF icon Original Plan Set 08/07/2018 - 1:25pm
Oak Street 10 ZBA 2018-10 Mar 21, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon drawing set PDF icon Staff Report 08/03/2018 - 11:22am
Cross Street 95-97 ZBA 2018--05 Mar 21, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Fence PDF icon Staff Report 08/03/2018 - 11:26am
Somerville Ave 382 PB 2018-02 Mar 08, 2018 PDF icon Withdrawal PDF icon drawing set 08/07/2018 - 1:26pm
Broadway 114 PB 2017-29 Mar 08, 2018 PDF icon drawing set
PDF icon revised design drawing set
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Staff Report - updated & corrected
PDF icon Memo to Planning Board
08/07/2018 - 8:47am
Irvington Road 31 ZBA2018-12 Mar 07, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon drawing set
PDF icon photographs
PDF icon Staff Report 08/07/2018 - 8:48am
Highland Avenue 160 ZBA 2018-15 Mar 07, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 12-12-17 PDF icon Staff Report 08/07/2018 - 8:49am
Heath Street 102 ZBA 2018-06 Mar 07, 2018 PDF icon Decision (WWOP) PDF icon Plan Set 12-2-18 PDF icon Staff Report 08/03/2018 - 11:34am
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 08/03/2018 - 11:35am
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 08/03/2018 - 11:34am
Rush St 28 ZBA 2018-17 Feb 14, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plot Plan & Design 08/03/2018 - 11:35am
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 08/07/2018 - 8:51am
Beacon Street 312 R ZBA 2018-08 Feb 14, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 1-30-18 08/07/2018 - 1:22pm
Cedar Street 111 ZBA 2018-03 Feb 14, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 8-21-17
PDF icon Plan Set 3-2-18
PDF icon Staff Report 08/03/2018 - 11:30am
Moreland Street 94 ZBA 2018-09 Feb 14, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 1-11-18 PDF icon Staff Report 08/07/2018 - 8:51am

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