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Applicant and            Eleanor Kilham

Property Owner:       84 Cushing Street

                                    Hingham, MA  02043


Premises:                    84 Cushing Street

                                    Hingham, MA  02043


Title Reference:         Plymouth County Registry of Deeds

                                    Land Court Certificate of Title No. 92908, Book 00464, Page 0108



This matter came before the Board of Appeals on the application of Eleanor Kilham (the “Applicant”) for a side yard setback Variance from §IV-A of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to demolish the existing one-car detached garage and construct a new 24' x 24' detached garage with storage space above at 84 Cushing Street (the “Property”), in Residence District B.


A public hearing on the application was held on Thursday April 14, 2011, at the Town Hall before a panel consisting of regular members Joseph W. Freeman, Chairman, W. Tod McGrath and Joseph M. Fisher.  The applicant was represented by B. Carolyn Nutt, Assoc. A.I.A., LLC.



The Applicants’ Property, located in Residence District B, contains 68,883sq.ft., is improved with a single-family dwelling originally built in 1950.  The Property also contains a non-conforming one-car detached garage originally built in 1965.  The existing 15’ x 20’ garage is 300sq.ft; it is in a state of disrepair and needs renovating.  The existing garage is angled on the property and is 4’ to the property line at its closest point in the rear.


In Residence District B the minimum side yard setback required is 20’.  The Applicant’s proposed reconstructed garage will be larger than the existing garage with the side yard setback to be 5’.  Plans also include storage space above the garage area.  According to the Applicant and her representative there are ledge outcroppings to the north and well water to the south of the proposed garage.  The Applicant represented that the best way to rebuild/enlarge the garage is to utilize a portion of the existing garage footprint, locating the two car bays between the ledge to the north and the well to the south.


The Applicant submitted a Plot Plan dated September 16, 2010 prepared and stamped by James E. McGrath, PLS.  The plan shows the 24’x24’ proposed garage with a setback on the eastern side yard

at 5’.  No abutters appeared at the public hearing nor did the Board receive any correspondence on the application.


The Zoning Board of Appeals considered the possibility of the Applicant erecting a new garage in a location that would conform to all setback requirements, but recognized that the Property is narrow, has an existing well, and is constrained by ledge outcroppings.  These factors constitute hardships that made such alternative location impractical. 



The Board voted unanimously to GRANT a side yard setback Variance to demolish the existing one-car detached garage and to construct a new 24' x 24' two-car detached garage with storage space above.  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 on the Property, specifically the location of the existing garage, the location of the existing well along with the constraints due to ledge outcroppings combine to create hardships and that there is no reasonable alternate placement for the proposed garage.  The Board also determined that although the proposed garage is larger than the currently existing garage, the proposed structure will not encroach further into the side yard setback than the existing garage, it will not detract from the neighborhood, and it will not impose on the abutting properties.  The proposed garage is consistent with the residential use of the premises and is an improvement in appearance compared to the existing detached structure.


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 condition:


  1. the 24' x 24' two-car detached garage with storage space above be constructed in substantial accordance with the plans submitted with the application and the 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,




                                                                                    Joseph M. Fisher

                                                                                    June 16, 2011