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NOTICE OF DECISION
IN THE MATTER OF:
Owner/Applicant: Brett & Jennifer Doan
Property: 35 Mast Hill Road
Hingham, MA 02043
Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Book 44686, Page 123
Plan Reference: Site plan entitled, "#35 Mast Hill Road, Proposed
Plot Plan of Land in Hingham, MA," prepared by John A. Hammer, III, 39
George Brown Street, Billerica, MA, dated May 22, 1978; proposed plan
shown on Hingham MapsOnline, dated April 29, 2015 and stamped May 6,
2015; and architectural plans entitled, "Additions & Renovations to
the Residence of Brett & Jennifer Doan, 35 Mast Hill Road,
Hingham, MA," consisting of existing and proposed floor plans and
elevations, prepared by Roger O. Hoit, AIA, 1175 Main Street, Hingham,
MA, dated April 29, 2015, Drawings A2, A4, A7 and A9.
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS
This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the
application of Brett & Jennifer Doan (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 front porch
within the front yard setback and enlarge an existing one-car garage to
accommodate three cars within the front and side yard setback at 35
Mast Hill Road in Residence District C.
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on June 17, 2015 at the
Town Hall, 210 Central Street. A subsequent session was held on July
21, 2015. The Board panel consisted of its regular members W. Tod
McGrath, Chairman, and Joseph M. Fisher and associate member Alan M.
Kearney. The Applicant, Brett Doan, appeared to present the
application as did the project architect, Roger Hoit, AIA. During the
hearing, the applicant submitted a request to withdraw from the
application the proposed demolition and reconstruction of an
nonconforming attached garage as the work is permitted by-right under §
III-I, 2. of the By-Law. The Board unanimously approve the request
this portion of the application. At the conclusion of the hearing, the
Board also voted unanimously to grant a Variance from the front yard
setback requirements under § IV-A of the By-Law to permit the
construction of a new 43.8' x 4.8' porch.
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 1 acre (43,825 SF)
improved by a preexisting nonconforming single-family dwelling (ca.
1967). The application describes the lot as limited in the front by the
existing septic system and to the rear by an existing in ground pool
and significant retaining walls. Photographs of the property
demonstrate that the lot is affected by ledge outcroppings and variable
The proposed plan calls for replacement of an existing attached
1.5-car garage with a new 3-car garage. The existing garage footprint is
asymmetrical in shape. The proposed structure, which is permitted by
right under § III-I, 2. (the so-called Hatfield Amendment), will
improve the existing nonconforming front yard setback as measured to
this portion of the single-family dwelling by approximately 2'. The
submitted plan also includes a new portico at the secondary front
entrance to the home. The Applicant represented that this improvement
will not exceed 30 SF and as such is an allowed exemption under § IV-B,
9. of the By-Law. The proposed plan does require relief for a new
covered porch along the front of the main structure. The proposed
structure would be approximately 44' in length and 5' in depth and
supported by 6 columns. The resulting front yard setback would be a
minimum of 26.8' where 50' is required in Residence C. Since the style
of the existing residence is a Garrison, the second floor projects
1.4' over the first. The proposed porch will create a further incursion
into the front yard setback of 3.4', or 148 SF beyond the current
The Board discussed what circumstances differentiate this property from others in the neighborhood.
The Applicant represented, and submitted photographs suggest, that
the proposed porch and resulting noncompliant setback is consistent in
design and placement to other properties in the neighborhood. The
proposed front yard setback (26.8') is similar to 12 of the 30 other
homes on Mast Hill Road. The record also includes letters of support
from five residents on Mast Hill Lane.
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:
Upon a motion made by W. Tod McGrath and seconded by Alan M.
Kearney, the Board voted unanimously to grant a Variance from § IV-A of
the By-Law to construct a front porch within the front yard setback at
35 Mast Hill Road in Residence District C, subject to the following
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,
W. Tod McGrath
August 10, 2015