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 Numbersort descending Case Number First Hearing Date Decisions Other Reports Updated date
Pearson Road 9 ZBA 2017-60 Jul 12, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 5-16-17
PDF icon Plan Set 6-26-17
PDF icon Staff Report 08/06/2018 - 11:51am
Medford St 9 & 39 ZBA 2013-89 Jan 08, 2014 PDF icon MedfordSt9&39.pdf PDF icon Staff Report 02/12/2014 - 12:30pm
Medford St 9 & 39 PB 2013-17 Nov 07, 2013 PDF icon MedfordSt9&39.pdf PDF icon Plans 10.8.13
PDF icon Traffic Analysis
PDF icon Drainage Report
PDF icon Plans 10.31.13
PDF icon Plans 11.19.13
PDF icon Staff Report 10.31.13
PDF icon Staff Report 11.14.13
PDF icon Memo 11.21.13
11/27/2013 - 9:49am
Medford Street 9 & 39 PB2018-13 Sep 06, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon drawing package PDF icon staff report 09/12/2018 - 9:25am
Sanborn Ct / Washington St 9 / 255 PB 2011-09 May 19, 2011 PDF icon SanbornCt9-WashingtonS255.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 06/06/2011 - 1:12pm
Pitman St / Beech St 9 18 ZBA2008-30 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Irvington 9-11 ZBA 2013-15 Apr 03, 2013 PDF icon IrvingtonRd9-11.pdf PDF icon Cover Sheet
PDF icon Demo Plan
PDF icon Specifications
PDF icon Attic and Roof Plans
PDF icon Framing
PDF icon Attic Building Sections
PDF icon Partial Elevations
PDF icon Staff Report 04/09/2013 - 5:03pm
Glendale Ave 9-11 ZBA2008-60 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Glendale Ave 9-11 ZBA2008-46 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Dresden Crl 9-11 ZBA 2015-47 Aug 05, 2015 PDF icon DresdenCircle9-11.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/20/2015 - 9:00am
Aberdeen Road 9-11 ZBA 2014-123 Jan 21, 2015 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan PDF icon Memo - new zoning analysis
PDF icon Staff Report
08/09/2018 - 5:25pm
Harvard Pl 9-11 ZBA2009-04 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Aberdeen Rd 9-11 ZBA 2014-123 Jan 21, 2015 PDF icon AberdeenRd9-11.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Memo - new zoning analysis
02/23/2015 - 9:16am
Washington St 90 ZBA 2013-41 Aug 21, 2013 PDF icon WashingtonSt90(Stamped).pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Stormwater Management Report
PDF icon Traffic Impact and Assessment Report
PDF icon Traffic Impact and Assessment Report Appendices
PDF icon Parking Memo
PDF icon Renderings
PDF icon Traffic Report updated
PDF icon Plans 9-18-2013
PDF icon Parking Memo-updated
PDF icon Updated Plans
PDF icon Staff Report 8-29-2013
PDF icon Staff Report 9-26-2013
PDF icon Alternative Parking Design
PDF icon Plans
07/29/2014 - 8:50am
Bartlett Street 90 ZBA 2017-131 Jan 17, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 6-28-17 PDF icon Staff Report 08/07/2018 - 8:57am

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