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Board of Appeals



Applicant: L. Kent & Anne L. Marcks

Premises: 11 Garrison Road, Hingham, MA 02043

Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Book 44238, Page 92

Plan References: "Plot Plan of Land," prepared by Perkins Engineering, Inc., 160 Old Derby Street, Suite 111, Hingham, MA, dated October 1, 2015, Fig. No. 1, and Construction Drawing Plan Set for "Plan No. 336-5," including materials list, floor and framing plan, elevations, foundation, sections, and other details, prepared by Behm Design Building Plans, dated October 14, 2005, revised through February 2013, Sheets 1-6, marked to show 16' x 20' dimensions.


This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the application of Kent & Anne Marcks (collectively, the "Applicant") for a Variance from § VI-A of the Zoning By-Law (the "By-law") and such other relief as necessary to replace a nonconforming shed with a 16’x20’ detached garage within the side and rear yard setbacks at 11 Garrison Road in Residence District A.

A public hearing was duly noticed and held on January 20, 2016 at Hingham Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The Board panel consisted of its regular members Joseph M. Fisher, Chairman, Joseph W. Freeman, and W. Tod McGrath. The Applicant was represented by family member, Liz Marcks. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Variance from the side and rear yard setback requirements under § IV-A of the By-Law.

Throughout its deliberations, the Board has been mindful of the statements of the Applicant and the comments of the general public, all as made or received at the public hearing.


The subject property consists of approximately 8,613 SF. The lot is unusually shaped - greater in depth, particularly on the westerly side, than width. The property is improved by a single-family residence and detached accessory structure (16.1' x 12.4'). The residence is located equidistant from the front and rear property lines, whereas the existing shed is located in the far northerly corner or the lot with a mere 1.6' setback from the rear property line and 2.6' setback from the easterly side property line.

On October 21, 2015, the Board voted to approve a Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law permitting reconstruction and expansion of a nonconforming accessory structure within the side and rear yard setbacks at 11 Garrison Road in Residence District A.

The approved plan calls for a 14’x20’ detached, single-car garage that would maintain the existing structure's nonconforming dimensions (1.6' rear setback and 2.6' side setback). Due to an unusual lot shape, the incursion decreases for the approved structure along the westerly rear and southerly side elevations to 5.8' and 3.9' respectively. In granted the requested relief, the Board found that by-right options to locate the garage were limited by the shape of the lot and the location of the existing wastewater disposal system. It would be a hardship to maintain the existing, undersized accessory structure, which no longer functions for its intended purpose. The Board additionally found that the proposed Craftsman-style structure was consistent in terms of its design with the existing dwelling and surrounding neighborhood. Finally, the incursion beyond that existing was considered relatively minor.

The Applicant has since reevaluated the scale of the project. For the estimated cost, he now hopes to gain slightly more space. He would like to extend the width of the approved structure 2' into the center of the lot, resulting in a 16'x20' single-car garage. While a portion of the expanded footprint would increase the incursion into the rear yard setback, all of this area would conform to the required side yard setback.


Based upon the information submitted and received at the hearing, the Board has determined that:

1. Circumstances related to soil, shape, or topography especially affect the land or structures in question: The lot is unusually shaped - greater in depth, particularly on the westerly side, than width. The rear portion of the lot is occupied by the existing cesspool. These circumstances in combination especially affect the subject property and not generally the zoning district.

2. The literal enforcement of the By-Laws would involve substantial hardship financial or otherwise. The shape of the lot and location of both the existing septic system and historic residence on the lot limit by right placement of the proposed accessory structure. Absent relief, the Applicant either would incur significant expense in relocating the existing septic system or would be prohibited from locating an accessory structure on the Property.

3. A Variance may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good. The proposed accessory structure will be located in the approximate location as an existing nonconforming shed. The design of the proposed structure will enhance the property in a manner consistent with others in the neighborhood. There will be no adverse effects on the neighborhood and there will be no harm to the public good resulting from the proposed accessory structure.

4. A Variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purposes of the By-Law. The requested relief is modest in nature. The granting of a dimensional variance in this instance is consistent with the purposes of the By-Law.


Upon a motion made by W. Tod McGrath and seconded by Joseph W. Freeman, the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law to replace a 16.1'x12.4' nonconforming shed with a 16’x20’ detached garage within the side and rear yard setbacks at 11 Garrison Road in Residence District A.

The Variance is granted subject the following condition:

1. The construction shall be completed in accordance with the above-referenced plan, and representations made during the public hearing.

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 W. Freeman
February 25, 2016