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Applicant and                          Meaghan and Kevin Chapman

Property Owner:                   18 Huntley Road

                                                   Hingham, MA  02043


Premises:                                18 Huntley Road

                                                   Hingham, MA  02043


Title Reference:                      Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Land Court Cert. #117346,                                                      Doc. #690888



This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals on the application of Meaghan and Kevin Chapman (the “Applicants”) for a side yard setback Variance from §IV-A of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to construct an addition attaching a single-family home to an existing detached garage with a nonconforming side yard setback at 18 Huntley Road (the “Property”) in Residence District B.


A public hearing was duly noticed and held on September 25, 2013 at Hingham Town Hall before a panel consisting of regular members Joseph W. Freeman, Chairman, Joseph M. Fisher and W. Tod McGrath. The property owner, Meaghan Chapman, and the project architect, Glenn Hoffman, appeared to present the application.



The Property consists of approximately 19,478 SF improved with a single family dwelling along with a detached, one-car garage.  The Applicants proposed construction of a single story addition, including a new mudroom and great room. The new living space will comply with all applicable setbacks; however, the addition will connect the single family dwelling to the existing garage, which has a preexisting nonconforming side yard setback of 11.5' where 20' is required. The garage will continue to serve as uninhabitable space, but will be made a part of the single family dwelling with the construction of a breezeway/mudroom and great room addition.


With the application the Applicants submitted a Plan of Land, prepared by Hoyt Land Surveying, 1287 Washington Street, Weymouth, MA, stamped by Larry G. Dasilva, PLS, and dated 7/26/2013, along with unstamped plans (8 pages) prepared by GPHdesign, 91 Winthrop Street, Quincy, MA entitled and dated as follows: A1.00 Site Plan and Demolition Plan, 7/29/13; A1.02 Smoke Detector/Carbon Monoxide Detector Plans, 7/31/13; A2.01 First Floor Plan, 7/29/13; A4.02 Roof Framing Plan, 7/29/13; A1.01-02 First Floor Plan, 7/29/13; A3.01 Addition & Renovation Building Section, 7/29/13; and A4.01 Foundation Plan & First Floor Slab & Framing Plan, 7/29/12.



During the course of the hearing, the Applicant and the Board discussed the statutory findings for the grant of a Variance. The Architect was unable to design an addition of any useable size that would both serve the Applicants' needs and avoid the existing leaching field on site without connecting the existing residence to the nonconforming garage. Though the addition will incorporate the nonconforming garage into the residential structure, it will not be converted to living space. All new habitable space will conform to required setbacks.


Edward and Janet Hall, 14 Huntley Road, appeared at the public hearing to support the proposed project. The Board also received correspondence expressing support from the following abutters: Barbara Rattray, 22 Huntley Road, Robert Visser, 21 Huntley Road, and Bruce Henderson, 15 Huntley Road.  No one appeared or wrote to the Board in opposition to the application.



The Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested side yard setback Variance to construct an addition that would connect the existing residence to the existing single-car garage with a nonconforming setback of 11.5'.  In granting the requested relief, the Board found that owing to circumstances relating to the soil conditions, shape or topography which especially affect the premises, but do not affect generally the zoning district in which the premises are located, a literal enforcement of the Zoning By-Law would create a hardship to the Applicants.


The Board determined that the existing conditions of the Property, specifically the location of the existing septic system and the garage, create a hardship in that there is no reasonable alternate placement for the proposed addition. The Board also determined that although the new addition will incorporate the nonconforming garage into the residential structure, it would not create an incursion into the side yard setback that does not already exist.   


The Board further determined that the requested Variance might be granted without detriment to the public good and without substantially derogating from the intent or purpose of the Zoning By-Law.  The new addition is consistent with structures in the neighborhood and, as previously noted, will not create any new incursions into the side yard setback.


The Variance is granted subject the following condition:


  1. The addition shall be constructed in accordance with the plans submitted with the application and the representations made during the public hearing, including, without limitation, that the garage will continue to serve as uninhabitable 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 M. Fisher

                                                                                    October 7, 2013