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Applicant and        John and Sarah Carolan
Property Owner:    17 Middle Street
            Hingham, MA  02043

Premises:        17 Middle Street
            Hingham, MA  02043

Title Reference:    Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 35340, Page 139   

Plan References:    "Proposed Addition Plan," prepared by Cavanaro Consulting, 687 Main Street, Norwell, MA, dated February 4, 2014 and architectural and elevation plans prepared by OMC Architecture, 26 Summer Street, Hingham, MA, dated November 8, 2013, Sheets SP1, Exist, and a1-a6.
This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals on the application of Brian
John and Sarah Carolan (the “Applicants”) for front and side yard setback Variances from §IV-A of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to rebuild and extend the existing nonconforming detached two-car garage at 17 Middle Street in Residence District A.

A public hearing was duly noticed and held on March 25, 2014 at Hingham Town Hall before a panel consisting of Associate Members Mario Romania, Jr., Acting Chairman, Robyn S. Maguire and David W. Anderson. The Applicants appeared to present the application.
The subject property is bounded on three sides by public ways - Main Street to the west, Common Street to the north and Middle Street to the east. The lot is shaped like a trapezoid and  consists of approximately 11,650 SF improved by a pre-existing nonconforming single-family home and detached garage. The garage is presently located 1' from the side property line and about 5' from Middle Street.

The requested relief would allow the Applicants to rebuild and extend their existing nonconforming detached two-car garage to accommodate their vehicles, which are presently parked in the driveway that falls largely within the Middle Street right-of-way. The cars have been targeted by vandals in the past because of their proximity to the street.

The proposed construction would extend the side and front yard nonconformities by 10' and 6' respectively, but to a slightly lesser degree (2' side and 5.2' front). The application includes a certified plot plan, which shows the septic location to the north of the existing garage. The Applicant points to the septic location and three surrounding streets as circumstances particularly affecting their property and not others in the district.

The Applicant submitted letters of support from abutters at 19 Middle Street and 5 Common Street during the hearing. No one appeared or wrote to the Board in opposition to the application. The Applicant also noted that the Hingham Historical Commission had reviewed the plan and issued a Certificate of Appropriateness on January 16, 2013.

The Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested front and side yard setback Variances to rebuild and extend the existing nonconforming detached two-car garage at 17 Middle Street.  In granting the requested relief, the Board found that:

1.    Circumstances relating to the property's soil conditions, namely the septic system, and trapezoid-like shape 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 existing driveway to Main or Common Streets, which would present concerns for traffic safety;
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, which allows accessory structures and requires parking on individual lots not within the right-of-way as presently exists.

The Variance is granted subject the following condition:

1.    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,

                            David W. Anderson
                            April 9, 2014