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Applicant and             Stephen R. and Gretchen A. Bates

Property Owner:        64 School Street

Hingham, MA  02043


Premises:                   64 School Street

Hingham MA 02043


Title Reference:          Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Book 32869, Page 277


This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals on the application of Stephen R. and Gretchen K. Bates (the “Applicants”) for side and rear yard setback Variances from §IV-A of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to maintain the new 10' x 14' shed in the rear of the property at 64 School Street (the “Property”), in Residence District A.

A public hearing was duly noticed and held on May 9, 2011 at the Town Hall before by a panel consisting of regular members Joseph W. Freeman, Chairman, W. Tod McGrath and Joseph M. Fisher.


The Applicants are the owners of an existing single family dwelling on a 7,635sq.ft. lot which previously had an 8’ x 10’ shed in the southeasterly portion of the rear yard. The previous shed was 6’ from both the side and rear setbacks at its closest point.  The shed was in poor condition and in need of repair.  The Applicants needed additional storage space, so they constructed a new 10’ x 14’ shed in the same location as the previous shed.  In constructing the larger shed the Applicants explained that they were unaware that the new larger shed needed to meet the setback requirements of the Residence A zoning district (15’ both side and rear).  The new larger shed is 4’ from the side yard setback at its closest point and remains the same 6’ from the rear yard at its closest point.

The Applicants also have an existing septic system in the rear yard which limits the placement of the shed where it would meet the setback requirements.


After consideration of the Applicants’ proposal, together with the pictures and drawings submitted by the Applicants, the Zoning Board of Appeals finds that the existing conditions on the premises along with the location of the previously existing shed combine to create a hardship with regard to the placement of the new shed.  The Board also recognizes that the Applicants’ previous shed has existed and been maintained in the same location for many years and that the Applicants had not intended to abandon the use of that portion of the premises for the placement of a new shed.  No abutter offered any objections to the Applicants’ proposal.


The Board voted unanimously to GRANT the VARIANCE.  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 due to the placement of the existing septic system a hardship exists limiting the area upon which the shed could be located.   The Board also determined that although the new shed is larger than the previous shed and it will intrude further into the side yard setback, it will not encroach further into the rear setback than the previous shed and will not detract from the neighborhood nor will it impose on the abutting property.  The Board further finds that a literal enforcement of the minimum setback requirement would impose hardship to the Applicants as the existing septic system would have to be relocated on the Property which would make the relocation of the shed cost prohibitive.

Therefore, based upon all of these factors, the Zoning Board of Appeals finds that the granting of the Variance would be consistent with the purpose and intent of the Zoning By-Law, and would not nullify or substantially derogate from the purpose and intent of the Zoning By-Law.

The Variances are granted with the following conditions:

The 10’ x 14’ shed is to be maintained in accordance with the plans presented and representations made at the public hearing, specifically that the encroachment of the shed into the side yard setback to be no more than 4’ at its closest point and the encroachment of the shed into the rear yard to be no more than 6’ at its closest point.

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

July 20, 2011