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Board of Appeals





Applicant/                Heather and Rick Schuhwerk
Property Owner:       92 Pleasant Street
                               Hingham, MA  02043

Premises:                 92 Pleasant Street
                               Hingham, MA  02043

Title Reference:          Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 37535, Page 205

Plan References:        "Compiled Plan of Land in Hingham, Massachusetts," prepared by David T. Gilmore, R.L.S., dated June 9, 2003, and architectural plans entitled, "Proposed Site Layout Plan (S-1)," "Proposed Floor Plans (A-1)," and  "Proposed Exterior Elevations (A-2)," prepared by Aprea Design, PO Box 680, Hingham, MA, dated September 22, 2014.

This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals on the application of Heather and Rick Schuhwerk for a Variance from §IV-A of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to construct an addition resulting in a 12' side yard setback at 92 Pleasant Street where 15' is required in Residence A.

A public hearing was duly noticed and held on November 19, 2014 at Hingham Town Hall before a panel consisting of W. Tod McGrath, Chairman, Joseph M. Fisher, and Joseph W. Freeman. The Applicant, Rick Schuhwerk, and project contractor, Bob Shepard, appeared to present the application.

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 is located at the juncture of Pleasant Street and Stoddard Road. The existing single family dwelling was constructed in 1928. The proposed plan calls for an addition, approximately 900 SF in size, to be constructed to the rear of the existing home. The proposed addition would extend 3' into the easterly side-yard setback.

The submitted site plan shows an unusually shaped lot with the layout of Pleasant Street and Stoddard Street jutting into the front of the property. The Weir River and floodplain limit the rear portion of the property. The onsite sewage treatment system is also located to the rear of the house. During the hearing, the Applicant described the interior layout of the existing residence and proposed addition. He suggested that denial of the requested relief would require the owners to redesign the interior floor plans or relocate the septic system.

During the hearing, the applicant submitted a letter of support for the proposed project from the direct abutter at 86 Pleasant Street. No one appeared or wrote to the Board in opposition to the application.


Based upon the information submitted and received at the hearing, and other information available to the Board, the Board found:

  1. Circumstances relating to the property's shape and soil conditions, namely the septic system, affect the subject property and not generally the zoning district;
  2. A literal enforcement of the Zoning By-Law would involve substantial hardship, requiring the owners to relocate their septic system or redesign the interior layout of the existing house;
  3. The requested relief may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good. The addition will improve the property in a manner consistent with other homes in the neighborhood and as approved by the Historical Commission; and
  4. The relief may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purpose of the Zoning By-Law. The incursion into the side yard setback is de minimus. 

Upon a motion made by Joseph M. Fisher and seconded by Joseph W. Freeman, the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested variance to construct an addition resulting in a 12' side yard setback at 92 Pleasant Street where 15' is required in Residence A.

The Variance is granted subject to 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