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 Number Case Number First Hearing Datesort ascending Decisions Other Reports Updated date
Glen St 70 ZBA2005-93-R0308 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Prospect Hill Ave 12 ZBA2009-62 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Summer St 377 ZBA2009-01 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Milton St 23 ZBA2008-08 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Medford St 415B ZBA2010-12 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Newberne St 28-30 ZBA2009-15 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Berkeley St 22 ZBA2008-64 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Broadway 860 ZBA2009-14 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Elm St 161-163 ZBA2007-45-R0908 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Albion St 100 ZBA2009-24 PDF icon Albion St100.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon PB Recommendation
PDF icon Staff Report
06/01/2010 - 9:05am
Belmont Sq 9 ZBA2008-63 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Highland Ave 230 & 236 ZBA2010-02 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Inner Belt Rd 200 ZBA2005-76-R0408 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Garrison Ave 30 ZBA2010-15 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Rush St 13 ZBA2008-58 05/20/2010 - 7:10am

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