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Applicant and                         H. Garrison Wilkes Jr. and Marie D. G. Wilkes as

Property Owner:                     Trustees of 263 Main Street Realty Trust

                                              263 Main Street

                                              Hingham, MA  02043


Premises:                                 263 Main Street

                                               Hingham, MA 02043


Deed Reference:                     Plymouth Registry of Deeds Book 27803, Page 60-61



This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals on the application of Garrison and Marie Wilkes (the “Applicants”) for a side yard setback Variance from §IV-A of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to replace the existing non-conforming one-car detached garage with a new 18' x 28' one-car detached garage/barn/workshop at 263 Main Street (the “Property”), in Residence District A.


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’s Property, located in Residence District A, contains 12,500sq.ft. and is improved with a pre-existing non-conforming single family dwelling built in 1841 along with a pre-existing non-conforming one-car detached garage originally built in the 1920’s.  The present detached garage is angled and is located less than 1’ at its closest point and 3’ at its furthest point to the side yard setback on the easterly portion of the Property. 


When the garage was originally built it had a dirt floor.  According to the Applicants, the previous owner poured a concrete pad but did not level the floor so the center of the structure is several inches lower and collects water during a good portion of the year.  Therefore the sill boards are below grade and have rotted way, the walls are in decay and the roof is beyond repair.  The Applicants have spoken to numerous builders over the last few years and all have agreed it would be more costly to repair the present structure than build a new one. 


The Applicants are proposing to replace the existing non-conforming one-car detached garage with a new 18' x 28' one-car detached garage/barn/workshop in approximately the same location.  The new structure would be 3’ to the Property line and also would be squared to the Property line.  The lot is long and narrow and the current side yard setback requirement (15’ in Residence District A) would place a new structure into the house and the center of the rear yard which would put it over the existing septic system. 


The Applicants submitted a Certified Plot Plan dated September 17, 2010 prepared by C & G Survey Company, 37 Jackson Road, Scituate, MA and stamped by Jerry D. Gibbs, RPLS.



The Board voted unanimously to GRANT side yard setback Variance replace the existing non-conforming one-car detached garage with a new one-car detached garage/barn/workshop.  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 involve substantial hardship to the Applicant.  Due to the narrow shape of the lot and the location of the existing septic system the current setback requirements precludes building almost anywhere on the lot.


The Board determined that the although the new structure will remain within the side yard setback, it will be less of an intrusion into the setbacks than the present garage and will not detract from the neighborhood or impose on the abutting property.  The proposed garage/barn/workshop is consistent with the residential use of the premises and is an improvement in appearance compared to the existing detached structure.


The Board also 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 to the following conditions:


  1. The garage/barn/workshop is to be constructed in substantial accordance with the plans submitted and the representations made at the public hearing.
  1. The garage/barn/workshop is not to be closer than 2½’ from the side yard Property line.



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, as 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 Zoning Board of Appeals                              




                                                                        Joseph W. Freeman

                                                                        May 31, 2011