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Board of Appeals




Owner/Applicant:            Falconeiri Construction, Inc.
Premises:                        73 Winter Street
                                        Hingham, MA 02043

Deed Reference:             Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Book 44205, Page 32

Plan Reference:                Plan entitled, "Plot Plan for Addition," prepared by Grady Consulting, LLC, 71 Evergreen Street, Suite 1, Kingston, MA, dated November 10, 2014 and elevation plan, entitled, "Garage (2 Car)," prepared by Campbell/Smith Architects, Inc., 22 Depot Street, Duxbury, MA, dated November 5, 2014, Sheet 1 of 1.


This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the application of Falconeiri Construction, Inc. (the “Applicant”) for a Variance from § IV-A of the Hingham Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”), to construct a two-car garage in substantially the same location as the pre-existing non-conforming single-car garage currently located on the Property at 73 Winter Street in Residence District A.

A public hearing was duly noticed and held on December 17, 2014, 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 was represented by Attorney Jeffery A. Tocchio of Drohan Tocchio & Morgan, P.C.  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 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 is a 16,086 +/- s.f. parcel located on the west side of Winter Street, approximately 125’ south of the intersection of Leavitt Street. The subject property currently contains an existing one story shed-style garage, 12’8” x 18’6” in size with a wooden plank floor and sloping rear roofline.  Both the existing garage and home were built in 1925, prior to the adoption of the By-Law, and qualify as pre-existing non-conforming structures subject to the grandfathering protections of M.G.L. c. 40A, § 6.  The existing garage is located entirely within the required 15' side yard setback, and is approximately 7” from the northerly property line.  The driveway slopes upward to the west from Winter Street to the existing garage and to the proposed location of the second garage bay.  An existing septic holding tank is located towards the “center” of the property, which limits the placement of a structure due to Title 5 and Board of Health Regulations.  Winter Street is restricted to one-way vehicular travel, directed from Leavitt Street to the south, downhill to Main Street to the north; and is sparsely-developed.

The Applicant proposes to construct a new garage structure, approximately 24’ by 22’ in size, on the footprint of the existing garage, as reflected on the Plans submitted with the Applicant’s application.  The proposed new garage will not encroach closer to the side yard lot line than the existing garage structure, or encroach into the 25 foot front yard setback.  The new garage structure will occupy all of the space occupied by the existing garage structure (approximately 231 SF) and will only occupy an additional 109 SF within the side yard setback.  Most of the additional proposed footprint area of the new garage, when compared to the existing garage structure, will be located outside of the side yard setback.

The proposed new garage will be capable of safely garaging two typical contemporary-sized vehicles.  Consistent with the existing garage structure, the proposed garage will be situated at the top of the driveway slope.  The precise location is set by the location of the existing Title V Septic System on the Property, as required by the Board of Health.  The proposed garage will be simple in design, showing a gable towards Winter Street, with a small storage loft, as reflected on the architectural plans submitted with Applicant’s application.  The proposed garage will improve safety for future owners of the Property, as well as other motorists using Winter Street, by reducing the need for future owners of the Property or their guests to park on the west side of Winter Street. 

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 Property slopes significantly downward towards Winter Street, which itself slopes downward from south to north.  The slopes are evidenced by the retaining walls located at the frontage of the property.  The Property was previously improved with the pre-existing non-conforming undersized garage structure, dating to 1925, which is located within 7” of the north side yard lot line.  The combination of the topography and the location of the existing structures on the lot, are not generally found in the zoning district.  Moreover, the layout, topography and one-way regulation of Winter Street are conditions that are not evident elsewhere in the Residence A Zoning District;
  2. 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 future owners of the Property and their guests, particularly during the winter season.  A grant of the requested relief will minimize or eliminate the need to park vehicles on Winter Street, which otherwise would present a hardship concerning the reasonable use of the residential Property due to circumstances particularly affecting the Property.  The proposed garage will provide a safer means enter and exit the Property for future owners and their guests.  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;
  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.  In fact, the proposed project will improve safety for the future owners and residents of the neighborhood by reducing the need to park vehicles on Winter Street.  The proposed garage project is consistent with single family residential use 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
  4. A variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purposes of the Bylaw. The design of the proposed garage is consistent with 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 W. Freeman and seconded by Joseph M. Fisher, the Board voted unanimously to grant a Variance from the side yard setback requirement under § IV-A of the By-Law approving construction of a new two-car garage on the Property, subject to the following conditions:

  1. The Applicant shall construct the Project in a manner consistent with the approved plans and the representations made at the hearings before the Board.
  2. The Applicant shall provide an “as-built” plan fixing the location of the proposed garage structure in relation to the side yard lot line on the Property.

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,



                                                                                                     W. Tod McGrath, Chairman