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Applicant and                        Peter and Kathryn Gamache

Property Owner:                   223 South Pleasant Street

                                                Hingham, MA  02043


Premises:                                223 South Pleasant Street

                                                Hingham, MA  02043


Title Reference:                     Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 41661, Pages 300



This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals on the application of Peter and Kathryn Gamache (the “Applicants”) for front and side yard setback Variances from §IV-A of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to construct a one-bay barn in the northeast corner of the front yard at 223 South Pleasant Street (the “Property”) in Residence District C.


A public hearing was duly noticed and held on November 7, 2012, with continuation hearings held on November 19, 2012 and December 19, 2012, at Hingham Town Hall before a panel consisting of regular members Joseph M. Fisher, Chairman, and W. Tod McGrath and associate member Alan M. Kearney.



The Applicants Property is approximately 22,215sq.ft. improved with a single family dwelling along with a small storage shed.  The Applicants proposed construction of a one-bay barn will allow for items to be stored in a protective environment as well as out of sight of abutters.


The Property is an unusually shaped elongated triangle which shares its westerly property line with Aquarion Water Company.  The Aquarion property contains a diversion pipe for Accord Brook to feed Fulling Mill Pond.  Its easterly property line is shared with 233 South Pleasant St. and consists primarily of wetlands.  Access to the rear of the property behind the single family dwelling is nearly impossible due to the placement of the dwelling and is also constrained by wetlands.  The existing septic system is located in the westerly front portion of the property.


With the application the Applicants submitted a Proposed Building Plan prepared by Collins Civil Engineering Group, Inc. 225 South Main Street, West Bridgewater, MA revised through August 20, 2012 stamped by Steven W. Rumba, PLS, along with unstamped/undated garage plans prepared by Horizon Structures, 5075 Lower Valley Rd., Atglen, PA.


No abutters appeared at the public hearing nor did the Board receive correspondence regarding the Applicants proposal.  The Applicants received an Order of Conditions from the Conservation Commission on September 28, 2012 for the construction of a one-bay barn in the northeast corner of the front yard.



During the course of the hearings the Applicants and the Board discussed the statutory findings for the grant of a Variance as well as the placement and architectural design of the one-bay barn.  The Applicants are planning on using a modular type of construction for the barn.  Because the barn is proposed to be located in the front portion of the Property and along the streetscape, the Board felt the design was an integral part of the proposed barn.


The Board and the Applicants also discussed the existing stone wall which is located along the front portion of the property along the streetscape.   The proposed barn will be located behind the stone wall and therefore a portion of the barn will be blocked from view by the stone wall.  The Applicants also discussed the existing and proposed plantings in the area and the Applicants stated their desire to maintain the Japanese maple in its present location if possible but may have to relocate elsewhere on the Property.


Over the course of the hearings, and based on input from the Board, the Applicants provided photographs of the property as well as an updated plan entitled Garage Elevations dated December 4, 2012 prepared by Construction Planners Inc., 775 Pleasant Street, East Weymouth, MA.



The Board voted unanimously to GRANT front and side yard setback Variances to construct a one-bay barn in the northeast corner of the front yard.  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 Property is unusually shaped and the existing conditions on the Property, specifically the location of the existing septic system and wetlands, create a hardship in that there is no reasonable alternate placement for the proposed one-bay barn.  The Board also determined that although the new structure will be built within the front and side yard setbacks, it will not detract from the neighborhood nor will it impose on the abutting properties. 


The Board further determined that the requested Variances might be granted without detriment to the public good and without substantially derogating from the intent or purpose of the Zoning By-Law.


The Variances are granted subject the following conditions:


  1. The one-bay barn shall be constructed in accordance with the plans submitted with the application and the representations at the public hearing.
  2. The driveway as shown on the plans will be gravel.
  3. The Japanese maple is to be relocated on the Property to the area designated on the Proposed Building Plan (prepared by Collins Civil Engineering Group revised through August 20, 2012) along the streetscape by the gravel driveway in the area marked 84.12’.  If the Japanese maple does not survive the relocation the Applicant is not responsible for replanting.
  4. Reasonable efforts are to be made to save the pine tree which is located by the corner of the area in which the one-bay barn is to be constructed.  If unable to save the pine tree the Applicant is not responsible for replanting.


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,




                                                                                    Alan M. Kearney

                                                                                    January 7, 2013