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Applicant and                Robert and Nicole Lytle
Property Owner:           27 Elm Street
                                     Hingham, MA  02043

Premises:            27 Elm Street
                          Hingham, MA  02043

Title Reference:        Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Book 38984, Page 138

This matter came before the Board of Appeals on the application of Robert and Nicole Lytle (the “Applicants”) for a side yard setback Variance from §IV-A and §IV-C 2 of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to construct a new 16' x 25' one-story one-car detached garage with storage space above along the westerly portion of the property at 27 Elm Street (the “Property”), in Residence District A.

A public hearing on the application was duly noticed and held on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at the Town Hall before a panel consisting of regular members W. Tod McGrath, Chairman, Joseph M. Fisher and Joseph W. Freeman.  The Applicants were represented by Attorney Daniel Brewer.  

The Applicant’s Property, located in Residence District A, contains 16,779sq.ft. of land and is improved with a single family dwelling originally built in 1850 with a driveway running along the westerly side of the Premises from the public way at Elm Street.  An in-ground swimming pool is located immediately to the rear of the existing dwelling.

Due to the narrowness of the Property, the Applicants are proposing to construct a one-story one-car garage at the end of the driveway that will be 5’ from the property sideline at the front of the proposed structure and 4’6” from the property sideline at the rear of the proposed structure.  The plans include a carriage house style overhead door along with an attached roof overhang with decking facing in-ground pool area, or interior to the Property.

The application included an Existing Conditions Plan dated March 23, 2011 prepared by Nantasket Survey Engineering, LLC and stamped by David G. Ray, Registered Land Surveyor and plans prepared by the Applicants’ architect, Sally Coyle, of Coyle & Carron, LLC and dated March 11, 2011 (Drawings A-1, A-2, A-3) and dated January 17, 2012 (Drawing L-1) which show the proposed addition in more detail.

The abutters at 29 Elm Street wrote a letter in support of the application.  No abutters appeared at the public hearing.

The Board voted unanimously to GRANT a side yard setback Variance to construct a new 16' x 25' one-story one-car detached garage with storage space above along the westerly portion of the Property.  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 and the Applicants considered the possibility of redesigning the garage by removing the roof overhang with deck that would allow the garage to be constructed further away from the side yard setback.  However, the Board determined that the existing conditions on the Property, specifically the narrowness of the Property along with the location of the existing dwelling and in-ground pool combine to create a hardship in that there is no reasonable alternate placement for the proposed garage.  

The Board also determined that the location of the proposed garage is relatively isolated from the surrounding dwellings and other structures in the neighborhood.  The character of the neighborhood includes many accessory structures as well as principal structures located within their respective setbacks.  The proposed garage will be significantly smaller and more modest than similar structures permitted as of right in the district.  The construction of the garage as proposed would be well within the established pattern of the neighborhood, and would not add to any sense of increased density or congestion.  The proposed detached garage is also consistent with the residential use of the premises.

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 Variance is granted subject the following conditions:

1.    the 16' x 25' one-story one-car detached garage with storage space above be constructed in substantial accordance with the plans submitted and representations made at the public hearing

This decision shall not take effect until a copy of the decision, bearing the certification of the Town Clerk that twenty (20) days have elapsed since the decision has been filed in the office of the Town Clerk and no appeal has been filed, or that if such appeal has been filed, that it has been dismissed or denied, is recorded with the Plymouth County Registry of Deeds and/or the Plymouth County Land Court Registry, and indexed in the grantor index under the name of the record owner or is recorded and noted on the owner’s certificate of title.

For the Board of Appeals,

                            W. Tod McGrath
                            April 11, 2012