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)

 

  • Notes for Applicants

  • Board Members

  • Reports & Decisions

Development Review Standards:

  • Please be advised that, per the standards set out in Article 15 of the Somerville Zoning Ordinance, a development review application is not complete until all required community and Design Review meetings have been held, all necessary information has been submitted, and all fees have been paid. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed, will not be publicly noticed, and will not be scheduled for a public hearing.
  • Planning staff will work with applicants to discuss meeting dates and review application materials.
  • Applications for large projects may require a longer review period and evaluation by multiple City departments before being deemed complete and scheduled for a public hearing.
  • Planning staff reserves the right to ask for additional information or to change meeting dates.

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 Number Case Number First Hearing Datesort ascending Decisions Other Reports Updated date
Paulina St 33 ZBA 2011-63 Sep 07, 2011 PDF icon PaulinaSt33.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 10/12/2011 - 11:59am
Assembly Row Block 10 (133 Middlesex Ave) 10 PB 2011-10-R1 (7/2011) Sep 01, 2011 PDF icon MiddlesexAve133Block10 PB 2011-10-R7-2011)(Combined Final Decision).pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 06/25/2014 - 4:36pm
Summer St 343, 345, 349, & 351 ZBA 2011-54 Aug 24, 2011 PDF icon SummerSt343.pdf PDF icon Plans 6-24-11
PDF icon Traffic Impact Assessment
PDF icon Construction Management Plan
PDF icon ASTM Screen 3-20-02
PDF icon Prelim Site Assessment 4-19-02
PDF icon Subsurface Exploration 9-23-02
PDF icon ASTM Screen 7-26-07
PDF icon Phase 1 Environ. Assessment 6-30-09
PDF icon Phase 1 Environ. Assessment 7-13-09
PDF icon Subsurface Investigation 7-15-10
PDF icon Staff Report - 8/19/11
PDF icon Environmental Consultant Peer Review Report 8/19/11
PDF icon Staff Report - 9/1/11
PDF icon Drainage Report 2/2011
PDF icon Memo to ZBA re Revised Plans 9-30-11
PDF icon Revised Plans 9-30-11
PDF icon Revised Plans 11-18-11
PDF icon Staff Report 12-1-11
PDF icon ZBA Memo 12-5-11
PDF icon DRC 11-22-11
01/04/2012 - 11:09am
Hillside Cir 10 ZBA 2011-59 Aug 17, 2011 PDF icon HillsideCircle10.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/18/2011 - 6:29pm
Porter St 23 ZBA 2011-60 Aug 17, 2011 PDF icon PorterSt23.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Updated Plans 8-31-11
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Staff Report 9-1-11
10/12/2011 - 12:00pm
Franklin St 52 ZBA 2010-74 Aug 17, 2011 PDF icon FranklinSt52.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/18/2011 - 6:27pm
Summer St 63-67 ZBA 2011-01 Aug 03, 2011 PDF icon SummerSt63-67.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Traffic & Parking Memo
PDF icon Staff Report 08/18/2011 - 6:28pm
Oxford St 27 ZBA 2011-56 Aug 03, 2011 PDF icon OxfordSt27.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/16/2011 - 12:36pm
Sargent Ave 11 ZBA 2011-55 Aug 03, 2011 PDF icon SargentAve11.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Updated Plans 10-27-11
PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:38am
Holland St 237 ZBA 2011-58 Aug 03, 2011 PDF icon HollandSt237.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/16/2011 - 12:35pm
ASQ IKEA Phase IAA (Middlesex Ave) 133 PB 2009-05-E1 (6/2011) Jul 14, 2011 PDF icon MiddlesexAve133w-letter.pdf PDF icon Staff Report 09/23/2011 - 2:12pm
Sycamore St 67 ZBA 2011-51 Jul 13, 2011 PDF icon SycamoreSt67.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 07/19/2011 - 8:34am
Main St 20 ZBA 2011-48 Jul 13, 2011 PDF icon MainSt20.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Plans 7-26-11
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Staff Report - 7-28-11
08/16/2011 - 12:36pm
Medford St 399 ZBA 2011-52 Jul 13, 2011 PDF icon MedfordSt399.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/03/2011 - 4:15pm
Pearl St 186 ZBA 2011-45 Jul 13, 2011 PDF icon PearlSt186.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/03/2011 - 4:14pm

Pages

Subscribe to Reports and Decisions