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TOWN OF HINGHAM
BOARD OF APPEALS
IN THE MATTER OF:
Applicant and Susan Pett
Property Owner: 40 Fairview Street
Hingham, MA 02043
Premises: 40 Fairview Street
Hingham, MA 02043
Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 44487, Page 117
Plan References: "Certified Plot Plan 40 Fairview Street," prepared by Cavanaro Consulting, 687 Main Street, Norwell, MA, dated May 19, 2014 and unstamped plans, entitled "Addition to the Susan Pett Residence," prepared by Karl Group Architecture, 17 Chamberlain Run, Hingham, MA, dated June 6, 2014, Drawings 1-2
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS:
This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals on the application of Susan Pett for Variances from §IV-A of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to convert ground floor space back to a garage with an extension that would result in a 20 SF front yard encroachment and replacement of an 8'x10' shed with nonconforming rear yard setbacks at 40 Fairview Street in Residence District A.
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on July 7, 2014 at Hingham Town Hall before a panel consisting of W. Tod McGrath, Chairman, and regular members Joseph M. Fisher and Joseph W. Freeman. The Applicant, Susan Pett, and project architect, Elizabeth Karl, 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.
BACKGROUND and DISCUSSION:
The Applicant purchased the Premises on July 1, 2014. The subject property is a corner lot, which consists of approximately 9,507 SF improved by a single-family dwelling and shed. The proposed garage conversion and extension will result in a 20 SF incursion into the front yard setback toward Leonard Street. The proposed plan also calls for replacement of an existing 8'x10' shed with nonconforming rear yard setbacks.
The owner would like to restore what was a garage on the ground floor level of the existing residence; however, the depth of the available space would not accommodate the length of a vehicle given the placement of necessary mechanical equipment. The proposed extension would align with the face of the existing porch, thereby allowing a standard sized passenger vehicle to park in the restored garage. The resulting incursion into the front yard is relatively minor. Though the extension is not eligible for the projections exemption under Section IV-C,7 of the Zoning By-Law since it will result in useable floor area, it is similar in size to that permitted by right under the exemption (max. 30 SF).
The shed replacement is required because the current structure is badly deteriorated. If the shed had to be located to comply with the Residence A setbacks, it would necessitate significant grading, retaining walls and removal of trees and landscaping features. It would also diminish the small useable yard area.
FINDINGS AND DECISION:
The Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested Variances to convert ground floor space back to a garage with an extension that would result in a 20 SF front yard encroachment and replacement of an 8'x10' shed with nonconforming rear yard setbacks at 40 Fairview Street in Residence District A. In granting the requested relief, the Board found that:
- Circumstances relating to the property's soil conditions, namely the septic system, topography, mature trees, and placement of the structure on the lot affect the subject property and not generally the zoning district;
- A literal enforcement of the Zoning By-Law would involve substantial hardship as there is no other location on the lot to construct a garage by-right;
- The requested relief may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good. The addition will not create adverse impacts and will improve the property in a manner consistent with other homes in the neighborhood; and
- The relief may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purpose of the Zoning By-Law.
The Variance is granted subject the following conditions:
- The addition shall be constructed 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, Chairman
August 5, 2014