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Board of Appeals
NOTICE OF DECISION
IN THE MATTER OF:
Owner/Applicant: Hudson Santana Agent: David Sisson
19 Beach Road 238 Fifth Street
Hingham, MA 02043 Providence, RI 02906
Premises: 19 Beach Road
Hingham, MA 02043
Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Book 44806, Page 293
Plan Reference: Site plans entitled, "Existing Conditions and
Proposed Building, Plan of Land in the Town of Hingham at #19 Beach
Road," by Terra Nova Survey Consultants, 1685 South Street, Bridgewater,
MA, dated January 14, 2015 and architectural plans, entitled "Proposed
Plans, Plans and Proposed Elevations," prepared by David Sisson
Architecture PC, 238 Fifth Street, Providence, RI, undated, Drawings
A4.0 (2) and A5.0.
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS
This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the
application from David Sisson, on behalf of Hudson and Lisa Santana
(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 rear deck resulting in a 10'1" side yard setback where 15'
is required at 19 Beach Road in Residence District A.
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on March 18, 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's Agent and project architect, David Sisson,
appeared to present the application. At the conclusion of the hearing,
the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Variance from the
side yard setback requirement under § IV-A of the By-Law.
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 5,275 SF and includes a
nonconforming single-story dwelling. The Property slopes gradually from
the front to a sea wall at the rear, which separates the lot from the
Back River. The entire property falls within FEMA Zone VE (El. 14).
The existing dwelling will be reconstructed by-right under the
exemptions contained in Section III-I, 2, the so-called Hatfield
Amendment, and Section III-C, 5. of the By-Law. In order to minimize
risk associated with flood events, the single-family dwelling must be
raised above flood elevation. The new dwelling will consist of
two-stories supported by piles. The proposed plan also calls for
reconstruction of an existing rear deck that is located partially in the
required side yard setback. While the existing side yard setback
nonconformity will be improved from 9.3' to 10.1', the accessory
structure will not comply with the 15' setback. Since the proposed
incursion also exceeds the 30 SF projection allowed by Section IV-C, 7.
of the By-Law, construction of this accessory structure requires a
During the hearing, the Applicant's Agent noted that the Property's
topography limits project alternatives. Elevation of the dwelling will
make it more difficult to access outdoor space to the rear without a
deck. The Applicant also indicated that the proposed deck is similar in
size and location to others in the neighborhood.
Based upon the information submitted and received at the hearing, and
other information available to the Board, 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 Property slopes down from Beach Road toward the
entrance to the Back River to the rear. The Property is located entirely
within FEMA Flood Zone VE (el. 14). These circumstances do not
generally affect the surrounding neighborhood or the zoning district.
b. The literal enforcement of the Bylaws would involve substantial
hardship financial or otherwise. The requested relief will allow the
Applicant to construct a deck that provides access from the raised main
floor living area to outdoor space in a manner similar to others in the
neighborhood. Without relief, there would be no practical access to the
rear yard. A grant of a Variance in this instance 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. In fact, the proposed
project will improve the existing Premises in a manner consistent with
many single family residences in the surrounding neighborhood. There
will be no adverse effects or 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 project calls
for reconstruction and expansion of an existing deck. The existing
nonconforming side yard setback will be modestly improved from 9.3' to
10.1'. The deck will also have less impact than a 2.5 story addition
that could be constructed within this area by-right under the so-called
Hatfield Amendment. 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 side yard
setback, authorizing construction of a deck to the rear of the existing
single-family dwelling at 19 Beach Road, subject to the following
1. The construction shall be completed in a manner consistent with
the plans submitted and representations made during the hearing.
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
March 30, 2015