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NOTICE OF DECISION
IN THE MATTER OF:
Owner/Applicant: Jonathan and Lisa Chi
Property: 33 Lincoln Street
Hingham, MA 02043
Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Book 44635, Page 254
Plan Reference: Plan entitled, "Proposed Garage Plan, 33 Lincoln
Street in Hingham, MA," prepared by Cavanaro Consulting, 687 Main
Street, Norwell, MA, dated May 4, 2015; and unstamped architectural
renderings entitled, "Chi Residence (Left Side Elevation and Front
Elevation)," dated April 15, 2015.
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS
This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the
application of Jonathan and Lisa Chi (collectively, the "Applicant") for
a Variance from § IV-A of the Hingham Zoning By-Law (the "By-Law") to
construct a two-car garage with multi-purpose room above resulting in a
4' side yard setback where 15' is required at 33 Lincoln Street in
Residence District A.
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on May 13, 2015, at the
Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The Board panel consisted of its regular
members W. Tod McGrath, Chairman, Joseph M. Fisher, and Joseph W.
Freeman. The Applicant appeared to present the application and revised
plans that proposed a reduced side yard setback of approximately 3'. At
the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant a
Variance from the side yard setback requirement under § IV-A of the
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 11,930 SF improved by a
Greek revival style residence (ca. 1799). The lot has approximately 65'
of street frontage and is approximately three times deeper than it is
wide. The topography varies, as evidenced by a Schematic Site Plan
prepared by landscape architect Sean Papich and photographs submitted
in support of the application. A relatively level area exists to the
northeast of the existing dwelling and the Applicant proposes to
construct a two-car garage (24' x 26') in this location. Since the time
of initial application, the proposed plan was updated such that the
proposed setback was reduced from 4' to approximately 3' (2.9' at rear
and 3.2' at front) from the easterly side property line.
During the hearing, the Applicant submitted several letters of
support for the project from abutters to the subject property. The owner
of the property to the east, which would be most directly impacted by
the proposed location of the new garage, attended the hearing and
expressed support for the requested relief.
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:
a. There are circumstances relating to soil conditions, shape or
topography especially affecting the land but not affecting generally the
zoning district. The narrow shape of the lot and varying topography are
limiting factors. This combination of conditions is not generally
evident in the Residence A Zoning District. Given the circumstances of
the property and the location of existing structures, there appear to be
no other alternatives to site the garage;
b. The literal enforcement of the Bylaws would involve substantial
hardship financial or otherwise. The residential use of the sloped
driveway and vehicle access areas, absent the opportunity to garage
vehicles, would result in potential safety issues for owners of the
property and their guests, particularly during the winter season. A
literal enforcement of the zoning ordinance would result in a structure
that would be functionally too narrow, thereby creating a substantial
hardship for the applicant. A grant of the requested relief will allow
for a reasonable use that is entirely consistent with a single family
use in the Residence A Zoning District;
c. A variance may be granted without substantial detriment to the
public good. The proposed project will not create any noise, traffic or
result in other similar negative impacts. The design of the proposed
garage is consistent with the character of the neighborhood and other
single family residential uses in the Residence A Zoning District.
There will be no adverse effects on the neighborhood and there will be
no harm to the public good; and
d. A variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially
derogating from the intent or purposes of the Bylaw. The proposed
structure is an allowed accessory use of the residential property . The
side yard setback in no way derogates from the intent or purposes of the
Upon a motion made by Joseph M. Fisher and seconded by Joseph W.
Freeman, the Board voted unanimously to grant a Variance from the side
yard setback requirement under § IV-A of the By-Law to construct a
two-car garage with multi-purpose room above resulting in a minimum 2.9'
side yard setback where 15' is required at 33 Lincoln Street in
Residence District A, 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,