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IN THE MATTER OF:
Owner/Applicant: Andrew Schlosberg and Hilleary Plummer
2 Alice Walk
Hingham, MA 02043
Premises: 2 Alice Walk
Hingham, MA 02043
Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Book 41244, Page 240
Plan Reference: Plan entitled, "Proposed Conditions, 2
Alice Walk Plan of Land," prepared by James Engineering, Inc., 125
Great Rock Road, Hanover, MA, dated February 20, 2014, Sheet 2 of 2,
and architectural plans entitled, "Schlosberg/Plummer Residence,"
prepared by Sally Weston Associates, 222 North Street, Hingham, MA,
dated August 4, 2014, Drawings A1.2, A2.1-A2.2
This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the
application of Andrew Schlosberg and Hilleary Plummer (collectively,
the "Applicant") for a Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law to
replace 520 SF of permitted habitable space with a covered porch within
side and rear yard setbacks at 2 Alice Walk in Residence District A.
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on January 14, 2015, at
the Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The hearing was continued at the
applicant's request to February 23, 2015. The Board panel consisted of
its regular members W. Tod McGrath, Chairman, and Joseph M. Fisher and
associate member Robyn Maguire. The Applicant was represented by
architect Sally Weston and Joseph E. Kelleher, Esq. At the conclusion
of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant a Variance from
the side and rear yard setback requirements 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 Premises consists of approximately 6,875 SF, with 50' of
frontage along Downer Avenue. The lot is also bounded on one side and
the rear by two private ways: Melville Walk and Alice Walk. The
property slopes down from Downer Avenue toward Alice Walk and Hingham
Harbor beyond. A portion of the property is located within FEMA Flood
Zone VE (el. 15).
The subject property was improved by a single-family dwelling (ca.
1900) and detached garage. The Applicant proposes to replace this
preexisting nonconforming residence with a new single-family dwelling,
including an attached garage. These improvements were designed to
minimize risk associated with potential flood events by raising the
finished first floor elevation. The Conservation Commission issued an
Order of Conditions in April 2014 approving the proposed project.
The Applicants' representatives then sought a building permit. In
reviewing the submitted plans, the Building Commissioner determined
that certain improvements would not be eligible for the zoning
exemptions authorized in Section III-I, 2 of the Zoning By-Law, the
so-called "Hatfield Amendment". Specifically, the Commissioner denied
construction of a proposed covered porch to be located in an area
previously occupied by a nonconforming porch and a portion of the
residence. As unenclosed space, the proposed covered porch would not be
included in the definition of Single-Family Dwelling and therefore
would not benefit from the exemptions under the Hatfield Amendment.
The Applicant modified the plans by enclosing the proposed covered
porch. After review, the Building Commissioner issued a permit
authorizing the by-right construction on December 2, 2014. The
Applicant now seeks relief from the Board to convert 520 SF within the
permitted wraparound sunroom to an unenclosed covered porch as
originally designed. The application indicates that the change will not
create any newly nonconforming dimensions as it would be located
partially within the footprint of the now demolished dwelling and
partially within the footprint of a former covered porch. In fact, the
noncompliant rear yard setback, as measured to the former covered
porch, will be improved by the proposed construction. The Applicant
also argues that unenclosed space would have less visual impact on the
views from neighboring properties. Several abutters testified that the
proposed porch would have less impact on their properties than the
permitted habitable space.
FINDINGS and DECISION
Based upon the information submitted and received at the hearing,
and other information available to the Board, the Board has determined
Upon a motion made by Joseph M. Fisher and seconded by Robyn S.
Maguire, the Board voted unanimously to grant a Variance from the side
and rear yard setback requirement under § IV-A of the By-Law approving
construction of a new covered porch on the Property, subject to the
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,