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TOWN OF HINGHAM
Board of Appeals
NOTICE OF DECISION
IN THE MATTER OF:
Owner/Applicant: Todd & Julie Heger
Property: 135 Martins Lane
Hingham, MA 02043
Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Land Court Cert. No. 117711, Book 588, Page 111
Plan Reference: Plan entitled, "Proposed Site Plan, 135 Martins Lane -
Hingham," prepared by Cavanaro Consulting, 687 Main Street, Norwell,
MA, dated July 10, 2015 and an architectural plan set entitled, "The
Heger Residence, 135 Martins Lane, Hingham, MA," designed by Custom Home
Designs, 260 South River, Marshfield, MA and drawn by Off the Wall
Design, 84 Forest Street, Pembroke, MA, "Existing Conditions," dated
March 27, 2015, Sheets A-1 - A-4, and "Proposed Conditions," dated June
27, 2015, Sheets A-1 - A-5.
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS
This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the
application of Todd & Julie Heger (collectively, the "Applicant")
for a Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law (the "By-Law") and such
other relief as necessary to construct a 16'x30' two-story addition
consisting of a garage and living space above and resulting in a 12.8'
side yard setback where 20' is required at 135 Martins Lane in Residence
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on August 10, 2015 at the
Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The Board panel consisted of its regular
members Joseph M. Fisher, Chairman, Joseph W. Freeman, and W. Tod
McGrath The Applicant, Julie Heger, appeared to present the application
as did the project engineer, Brendan Sullivan, P.E., P.L.S., Cavanaro
Consulting. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted
unanimously to grant a Variance from the side yard setback requirements
under § IV-A of the By-Law to permit the construction of a 16'x30'
two-story addition consisting of a garage and living space above.
Throughout its deliberations, the Board has been mindful of the
statements of the Applicant and the comments of the general public, all
as made or received at the public hearing.
The subject property consists of approximately 22,638 SF improved by a
preexisting nonconforming single-family dwelling (ca. 1920). The
property is located at the corner of Martins Lane and Croydon Road such
that it has more than 368' of frontage. The two opposite side and/or
rear property lines meet at a wide angle, resulting in a lot shape that
is not evident elsewhere in the area. The residence is positioned toward
the back of the lot, with a 12.5' setback to side "A" and 22.6' from
side "B" as compared to 50'(+) setbacks from the front property lines.
This area is the highest and flattest portion of the lot. The property
experiences significant grade changes such that the front of the lot is
almost 20' lower than the area surrounding the dwelling.
The proposed plan would locate an attached garage with living space
above to the immediate rear of the existing structure. The resulting
addition creates a new nonconformity from side "B" that essentially
mirrors the existing nonconforming setback from side "A". While there
are two side property lines, they are shared with the Applicant by a
single abutter at 137 Martins Lane. This abutter expressed support for
the proposed project during the public hearing.
The Board discussed alternative placement of the proposed
construction, ultimately finding that there was nowhere else on the site
that could accommodate the addition by right. As designed, the addition
is 16' in width. In order to comply with the required side yard
setback, the Applicant would need to reduce the width of the structure
to approximately 7', which would not permit its intended use as a
Based upon the information submitted and received at the hearing, and
the deliberations and discussions of Board members at the meeting, the
Board has determined that:
1. Circumstances related to soil, shape, or topography especially
affect the land or structure in question: The property is located at the
corner of Martins Lane and Croydon Road with a total of approximately
368' of frontage. The two opposite side property lines meet at a wide
angle, resulting in a lot shape that is not evident elsewhere in the
area. The residence is positioned at the rear of the lot, with a 12.5'
setback to side "A" and 22.6' from side "B" as compared to 50' - 85'(+)
setbacks from the front property lines. The property experiences
significant grade changes such that the front of the lot is almost 20'
lower than the area surrounding the dwelling. These circumstances do not
more generally affect the zoning district.
2. Owning to these circumstances, literal enforcement of the By-Law
would involve substantial hardship: The topography, lot shape, and
location of the existing historic residence are circumstances that in
combination result in physical barriers to any by-right location of the
proposed garage and additional living space.
3. Relief may be granted without substantial detriment to the public
good: The design of the proposed addition is consistent with the
vernacular of the neighborhood. The proposed location also minimizes
disturbance by utilizing the existing driveway and the only level
portion of the lot.
4. Relief may be granted without nullifying or substantially
derogating from the intent or purpose of the Zoning By-Law: While the
proposed addition will create a new nonconformity from side "B", it
mirrors the preexisting nonconforming setback from side "A". Both
property lines are shared with the same abutter at 137 Martins Lane,
such that the linear measurement from the abutting property is
essentially unchanged. The type and intensity of the property will also
remain unchanged as a single family dwelling. The granting of a
dimensional variance in this instance is consistent with the purposes of
Upon a motion made by W. Tod McGrath and seconded by Joseph W.
Freeman, the Board voted unanimously to grant a Variance from § IV-A of
the By-Law to construct a 16'x30' two-story addition consisting of a
garage and living space above and resulting in a 12.8' side yard setback
where 20' is required at 135 Martins Lane in Residence District C,
subject to the following conditions:
1. The rights authorized by this Variance shall expire one year from
the date this Decision is filed with the Town Clerk, unless exercised or
extended in accordance with the terms of M.G.L. c. 40A, § 10.
2. The Applicant shall construct the Project in a manner consistent
with the approved plans and the representations made at the hearings
before the Board.
This decision shall not take effect until a copy of the decision
bearing the certification of the Town Clerk, that twenty (20) days have
elapsed since the decision has been filed in the office of the Town
Clerk and no appeal has been filed, or that if such appeal has been
filed, that it has been dismissed or denied, is recorded with the
Plymouth Registry of Deeds and/or the Plymouth County Land Court
Registry, and indexed in the grantor index under the name of the record
owner or is recorded and noted on the owner's certificate of title.
For The Board of Appeals,
Joseph W. Freeman
August 14, 2015