View Other Items in this Archive | View All Archives | Printable Version



FINDING under M.G.L. Ch. 40A § 6 and VARIANCE


Applicant/                Ann E. Mackey
Property Owner:    135 Hersey Street
                                 Hingham, MA  02043

Premises:               135 Hersey Street
                                Hingham, MA  02043

Title Reference:    Plymouth County Registry of Deeds
    Land Court Certificate of Title No. 82215, Book 411, Page 15

Plan References:    "Site Plan to Accompany ZBA Application, 135 Hersey Street, Hingham MA," prepared by Cavanaro Consulting, 687 Main Street, Norwell, MA, dated June 17, 2014, Sheet 1 of 1 and elevation plans entitled, "Proposed Garage, 135 Hersey Street," prepared by John E. Richardson, Designer/Builder, 10 Ringbolt Road, Hingham, MA, dated September 19, 2011, Drawings 1-2.
This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals on the application of Ann E. Mackey for a Finding under M.G.L. Chapter 40A Section 6 and a Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to raze an existing shed located partially within the front yard setback and to replace it with a new detached garage with storage space at 135 Hersey Street in Residence District A.

A public hearing was duly noticed and held on August 13, 2014 at Hingham Town Hall before a panel consisting of Regular Member Joseph M. Fisher, Acting-Chairman, and Associate Members David W. Anderson and Robyn S. Maguire. The Applicant, Ann Mackey, and project engineer, Carmen C. Hudson, P.E., 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 consists of approximately one acre (45,333 SF) improved by a single family home and detached accessory structure. The residence, which was built in the 1860s, is included on the Historic Asset Inventory; however, the existing shed/garage dates to the 1940s and was deemed historically insignificant according to the application.

The proposed plan calls for replacement of the existing accessory structure with a new detached garage and storage area.  The replacement structure was located to take advantage of the existing driveway. The proposed structure would also maintain and extend the nonconforming front yard setback of approximately 18' where 25' is required in Residence A. The application notes that the rear of the site is limited by both wetlands and ledge, such that the garage could not be relocated to conform to the front setback requirement. Members noted that the presence of ledge was prevalent in the neighborhood, but wetlands are not common in the area. The Conservation Commission reviewed the proposed work and issued an Order of Conditions on July 8, 2014. An existing lawn area (450 SF) will be replaced with mitigation plantings, which represents a 2:1 ratio of plantings to building footprint increase.

The Board discussed whether the requested Finding under M.G.L. Chapter 40A Section 6 would be necessary. The existing shed/garage will be demolished in its entirety and the proposed extension will not comply with the requirements of the By-Law. The Board determined that the appropriate relief would be a Variance. 

The applicant filed written comments from three abutters supporting the proposed project.

Upon a motion made by David Anderson and seconded by Robyn Maguire, the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law to replace an  existing shed located partially within the front yard setback and to replace it with a new detached garage with storage space at 135 Hersey Street in Residence District A.

In granting the requested Variance, the Board found that:

1.    Circumstances relating to the presence of wetlands wetland affect the subject property and not generally the zoning district. These circumstances limit placement of the garage elsewhere on the Premises.
2.    A literal enforcement of the Zoning By-Law would involve substantial hardship. Garages are prevalent in the neighborhood and denial of the requested relief would negatively affect the value and utility of the property. 
3.    The requested relief may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good. The proposed garage is located a marginally greater distance from the street than the existing accessory structure. The proposed height and size of the proposed garage is consistent with other detached accessory structures throughout the neighborhood.
4.    The relief may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purpose of the Zoning By-Law as the proposed garage is in keeping with the residential use of the property.

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.
2.    Use of the structure shall be limited to a garage and storage. The structure shall not be converted to living space. 

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,

                            Joseph Fisher, Acting Chair
                            September 16, 2014