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Property Owner               Judith A. Lynch                                  Agent:                 Heidi AH Condon, HC Design      
and Applicant:                  206 Linden Ponds Way                                                 146 Front Street, Suite 211
                                          Hingham, MA  02043                                                     Scituate, MA 02066

Petitioner:                          Mark Lynch
                                           10 Gilford Road
                                           Hingham, MA

Premises:                          10 Elmore Road
                                           Hingham, MA  02043

Title Reference:               Plymouth County Registry of Deeds
                                         Land Court Certificate of Title No. 119820, Book 599, Page 20

Plan References:             "Proposed Septic System, 10 Elmore Road, Hingham, Massachusetts," prepared by McSweeney Associates, Inc., 150 Union Street, Hingham, MA, dated August 1, 2013 and revised November 5, 2013, and elevation plans entitled, "Proposed Garage Elevations," prepared by HC Design, 146 Front Street, Suite 211, Scituate, MA, dated December 3, 2014, Drawing Number A2-1.
This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals on the application of Mark Lynch (the "Petitioner"), on behalf of Judith A. Lynch (the "Owner" or "Applicant"), for a Variance from § VI-A of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to raise the height of and connect an existing nonconforming shed to a reconstructed nonconforming single family residence within the required 20' side yard setback at 10 Elmore Road in Residence District C.       

A public hearing was duly noticed and held on October 15, 2014 at Hingham Town Hall. The hearing was continued at the Applicant's request to December 17, 2014. The Board panel consisted of its regular members W. Tod McGrath, Chairman, Joseph M. Fisher, and associate member Mario Romania.  During the hearings, the Applicant was represented by the Petitioner, Mark Lynch, and Agent, Heidi AH Condon, Principal of HC Design. On December 4, 2014, the Agent submitted a written request to withdraw a portion of the application related to the proposed connection between the detached accessory structure and the single-family residence by way of a covered porch. 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 Zoning By-Law to raise the roof of the pre-existing nonconforming accessory structure by approximately 4'.

Throughout its deliberations, the Board has been mindful of the statements of the Applicant, the Petitioner, their Agent, and the comments of the general public, all as made or received at the public hearing.

The subject property consists of approximately 4,865 SF. The lot is improved by a single-0family dwelling constructed circa 1925. The proposed plan submitted in support of the original application called for reconstruction of the dwelling, including a new connection to a preexisting nonconforming accessory structure by way of a covered porch with a second floor deck. This improvement and a proposed dining alcove on the south side of the house would be located partially within the side yard setbacks. During the hearing, an abutter and Board members expressed concern with these incursions. On December 4, 2014, the Applicant's Agent filed a written request to withdraw that portion of the application related to the proposed connection between the detached accessory structure and the single-family residence by way of a covered porch. A revised plan was also filed that eliminated this incursion and that of the proposed dining alcove into the side yard setbacks.

During the continued public hearing on December 19, 2014, the Board reviewed the request to repair the existing garage and raise its ridge height from 10'3" to 14'1". The preexisting nonconforming accessory structure is located approximately 3' from the northerly side property line. The proposed construction would maintain the structure's existing footprint and extend the side yard setback nonconformity upwards. The application notes that nearby wetlands and a high water table limit construction alternatives.

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 50' of frontage on Elmore. The rear of the property falls within 100' of a wetland resource and a high water table limits viable use of the dwelling's basement for storage. These conditions and the location of the existing structures on the lot, are not generally found in the zoning district.
  2. The literal enforcement of the Bylaws would involve substantial hardship financial or otherwise.  The proposed garage renovation will allow the Applicant to use the structure for storage that is not otherwise provided for on site. A grant of a Variance in this instance will allow for a reasonable placement that is consistent with a single family use in the Residence C 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 incursion renovation will use the existing garage footprint and will not create newly noncompliant setbacks. The proposed increase in height is modest and 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 Mario Romania, Jr., the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law to repair and raise the height of an existing detached accessory structure located within the side yard setback at 10 Elmore Road in Residence District C.

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.

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,


                                                                                                                W. Tod McGrath, Chair

                                                                                                                January 13, 2014