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Board of Appeals





Property Owner      Donald J. Sinkus, Jr. and Mary E. Sinkus
and Applicant:          13 Daley Road
                                    Hingham, MA 02043

Premises:              13 Daley Road                        
                             Hingham, MA  02043

Title Reference:      Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Book 34418, Page 133

Plan References:     "Plan of Land, Hingham, Massachusetts," prepared by John L. Galvin, 14 Hillside Terrace, Hingham, MA, dated July 5, 1988  and unstamped, undated elevation plans received by the Board on February 12, 2015.

This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals on the application of Donald J. Sinkus, Jr. and Mary E. Sinkus (collectively the "Applicant") for a Variance from § VI-A of the Zoning By-Law (the "By-law") and such other relief as necessary to reconstruct a porch within the front yard setback resulting in a 23’ setback where 25’ is required at 13 Daley Road in Residence District A.
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on March 18, 2015 at Hingham Town Hall. The Board panel consisted of its regular members W. Tod McGrath, Chairman, Joseph M. Fisher, and Joseph W. Freeman. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Variance from the front yard setback requirement under § IV-A of the By-Law to reconstruct a 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 6,875 SF improved by a single-family residence. The proposed plan calls for reconstruction of an existing front deck and conversion to a covered porch. The current front setback measured to the deck is approximately 23' where 25' is required. The front stairs extend an additional 9' into the front yard, resulting in a setback of approximately 14'. The proposed covered porch structure would be located within the same footprint as the existing front deck and stairs.

The Applicant explained that the dwelling was constructed with an at grade foundation. Access to the main floor living area is thus raised a full story above grade. In order to provide practical access to and from the front yard, the dwelling requires a front porch. The Applicant argued that the existing and proposed structure, at 6' in depth, is the minimum required size. The size of the existing and proposed porch is also consistent with those in the surrounding neighborhood. At 132 SF, the structure falls right in line with the average size of 135 SF for other attached accessory structures in the area.

During the hearing, the Applicant submitted a letter of support for the proposed construction signed by three abutter to the subject property.


Based upon the information submitted and received at the hearing, and other information available to the Board, the Board has determined that:

  1. There are circumstances relating to soil conditions, shape or topography especially affecting the land but not affecting generally the zoning district. The lot is narrow in shape, with 55' of frontage on Daley Road. The existing dwelling is the only structure in the area constructed with the main living area raised above a basement at grade level. These conditions in combination are not generally found in the zoning district.
  2. The literal enforcement of the Bylaws would involve substantial hardship financial or otherwise.  The proposed reconstruction and conversion of the existing front deck to a covered porch will allow the Applicant to access the main floor from the front yard. A grant of a Variance in this instance will allow for a reasonable use that is consistent other single-family uses in the Residence A Zoning District;
  3. 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 proposed project will improve the utility of the structure, as well as its appearance. There will be no adverse effects on the neighborhood and there will be no harm to the public good; and
  4. A variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purposes of the Bylaw.  The proposed covered porch will be limited to the footprint of the existing deck and stairs and will not create newly noncompliant setbacks. The resulting structure will conform to the character of the neighborhood.  The granting of a dimensional variance in this instance is consistent with the purposes of the By-Law.


Upon a motion made by Joseph M. Fisher and seconded by Joseph W. Freeman, the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law to reconstruct a porch and stairs within the front yard setback at 13 Daley Road in Residence District A.

The Variance is granted subject the following condition:

  1. The construction shall be completed in accordance with the plans submitted with the application, and representations made during the public hearing, such that the resulting covered porch and stairs does not exceed the area occupied by the existing deck and stairs.

The zoning relief granted herein shall not become effective until (i) the Town Clerk has certified on a copy of this Decision that twenty (20) days have elapsed after the decision has been filed in the office of the Town Clerk and no appeal has been filed or that if such an appeal has been filed, that it has been dismissed or denied, and that (ii) a copy thereof has been duly recorded in the Plymouth County Registry of Deeds and indexed in the grantor index under the name of the owner of record or is recorded and noted on the owner’s certificate of title.

For the Zoning Board of Appeals,

Joseph W. Freeman
April 16, 2015