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TOWN OF HINGHAM
BOARD OF APPEALS
IN THE MATTER OF:
Applicant and Hersey House 229, LLC
Property Owner: 60 Lincoln Street
Hingham, MA 02043
Premises: 229 North Street
Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 33940, Page 241
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS:
This matter came before the Board of Appeals on the application of Hersey House 229, LLC (the “Applicant”) for a finding under M.G.L. Chapter 40A, Section 6 that the proposed move of the existing Hersey House barn from the west side of the Hersey House lot at 229 North Street (the “Property”) in Residence District A to the east side of the lot is not substantially more detrimental than the existing non-conforming use (or structure) to the neighborhood.
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on Thursday, December 15, 2011 at the Town Hall before a panel consisting of regular members W. Tod McGrath, Chairman, Joseph M. Fisher and Joseph W. Freeman. The Applicant was represented by architect Jerry Seelen and builder Benedict Wilcox. Also in attendance was John McDowell, Resident Agent for Hersey House 229, LLC.
The 3.3 acre Property is located in a local historic district and is improved by two structures commonly known as the “Hersey House” and the “Hersey House Barn.” The Applicant is proposing to relocate the existing barn from the west side of the Property to the east side of the Property as part of the restoration of the structures on the Property. In its present location the barn meets all setback requirements; once relocated it will also meet all the setback requirements of Residence District A.
The barn is a pre-existing nonconforming accessory structure having been built in the 1860’s. The existing barn height of 35’ above the grade plane and 41’ maximum height exceeds both the maximum allowable height of 30’ for an accessory structure as stated in the Zoning By-Law under section IV-C 2 and the maximum height of 40’ as stated in section IV-B 16.
Mr. Seelen and Mr. Wilcox reviewed for the Board the history of the site and the Applicant’s intent to restore the pre-existing non-conforming barn as part of the restoration of the Property. Because the barn does not meet the current height requirement for accessory structures under the Zoning By-Law, the Applicant is requesting a finding under M.G.L. Chapter 40A, Section 6 that the proposed move of the existing barn from the west side to the east side of the Property is not substantially more detrimental than the existing non-conforming use (or structure) to the neighborhood.
When restored, the barn at the new location on the Property will have a height above the grade plan of approximately 36.5’ and a total height of approximately 42.5’. The 1.5’ increase of both heights is to provide more clearance from the grade to the sills in order to prevent rot. The land at the proposed location on the Property is more irregular than the present location but will be re-graded similarly to the existing landscape. Under the Zoning By-Law the property owner is now required to use the pre-construction grade for calculations, and the points of measurements are now different because the driveway to the basement area will be along the side of the barn rather than perpendicular to the barn as is the case in its present location
The barn at the new location will be moved further away from residential neighbors on Thaxter Street, will meet all setback requirements and will not adversely affect drainage on the site. Both the Conservation Commission and Historic District Commission have approved the movement of the barn to its proposed new location. No abutters to the Property have raised any objections to the Board concerning the proposed move of the Hersey House barn.
FINDINGS AND DECISION:
Based on the information before it, the Board voted unanimously to make the finding, pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 40A, Section 6, that the proposed move of the existing Hersey House barn from the west side of the Hersey House lot at 229 North Street to the east side of the lot, as shown on the plans submitted to the Board, is not substantially more detrimental than the existing non-conforming use (or structure) to the neighborhood.
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,
Joseph M. Fisher
January 26, 2012