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Applicant andCatherine M. Adams

Property Owner:33 Fearing Road

Hingham, MA02043


Premises:33 Fearing Road

Hingham, MA 02043

Deed Reference:Plymouth Registry of Deeds Book 18884, Page 310


This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals on the application of Catherine M. Adams (the “Applicant”) for side and rear setback Variances 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 attached two-car garage with living space above at 33 Fearing Road (the “Property”), in Residence District A.

A public hearing on the application was held on Thursday January 13, 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 architect Heidi Condon of HC Design.


The Applicant’s Property, located in Residence District A, contains approximately 9,100sq.ft. and is improved with a single family dwelling built in 1880 and a detached 250sq.ft. garage built in the 1950’s.The present detached garage is located 3.08’ at its closest point to the side yard setback on the easterly portion of the Property and 4.9’ at its closest point to the rear yard setback on the northeasterly portion of the Property.The Applicant submitted a Certified Plot Plan prepared by Warwick & Associates, Inc. stamped by Gary S. Labrie, RPLS revised through January 11, 2011.

The Applicant is proposing a new two-car attached garage and mud room to replace the existing garage, using the footprint of the current garage and keeping the existing side and rear yard setbacks, expanding into the interior of the lot to connect to the existing dwelling.The lot is long and narrow and the current setback requirements preclude building almost anywhere on the lot.

The Applicant received a Certificate of Appropriateness from Historic District Commission in December of 2010.

One abutter at 25 Fearing Road spoke at the hearing and voiced concern about the vegetation that exists along the property boundary between his property and the Applicants.He expressed a desire to have as much of the existing vegetation remain as possible to provide a buffer between the properties, namely lilac hedges.


The Board voted unanimously to GRANT side and rear setback Variances to replace the existing detached garage with an attached garage.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 the current setback requirements precludes building almost anywhere on the lot.

The Board determined that the although the new garage remains within the side and rear yard setbacks, the proposed garage addition would be no more 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 addition 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 Variances are granted subject to the following conditions:

  1. The garage is to be constructed in substantial accordance with the plans submitted and the representations made at the public hearing.

2.Existing lilac hedges on or about the property line is not to be disturbed during construction.

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

March 1, 2011