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TOWN OF HINGHAM
Board of Appeals
IN THE MATTER OF:
Applicant/Owner: Christine & Peter Smith
2 Park Circle
Hingham, MA 02043
Premises: 2 Park Circle
Hingham, MA 02043
Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Book 16145, Page 137
Plan References: Plan entitled, "Proposed Addition Plan, 2 Park Circle - Hingham," prepared by Cavanaro Consulting, 687 Main Street, Norwell, MA, dated March 22, 2016 and unsigned, undated architectural drawings including a "Front Elevation" and "First Floor Plan"
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS:
This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the application of Christine and Peter Smith (collectively the "Applicant") for a Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law (the "By-Law") and such other relief as necessary to construct a 20' x 26' family room addition located 15.9' from the front property line where 25' is required in Residence District A.
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on April 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 Robyn S. Maguire. The Applicant and the project architect, Alan M. Kearney, appeared to present the application. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested relief from the front 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.
BACKGROUND and DISCUSSION:
The subject property consists of approximately 12,500 SF located at the northwest corner of Wompatuck Road and Park Circle. The lot is irregularly shaped, particularly where the front property lines converge, creating an acute angle. The site was previously improved by a single-family dwelling and attached garage, which itself has an unusual, trapezoid-like shape. The rear portion of the property is occupied by an existing pool and associated patio, as well as a small, detached accessory structure.
The proposed plan involves construction of a 20'x26' family room addition to the easterly-facing facade of the dwelling. The addition would result in a 15.9' front yard setback from Park Circle, where 25' is required.
During the hearing, the Applicant described alternative by-right construction options that had been considered. These options, which would result in either a narrow, 10'-wide family room or another irregularly-shaped protrusion on the front facade, were considered impracticable or detrimental to the functionality and appearance of the property. Construction at the front of the residence is limited by areas of ledge, mature trees, and an unusual building envelope resulting from the lot shape. The rear portion of the property is similarly affected by the existing pool and related improvements.
During the public comment portion of the hearing, a direct abutter to the property spoke in support of the application. No members of the audience spoke in opposition.
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 irregularly shaped, particularly where the southerly front property lines converge, creating an acute angle. The site was previously improved by a single-family dwelling and attached garage, which itself has an unusual, trapezoid-like shape. The rear portion of the property is occupied by an existing pool and associated patio, as well as a small, detached accessory structure. 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. Literal enforcement of By-Law would limit the Applicant from improving the property in a manner consistent with others in the neighborhood and negatively affect the overall use and enjoyment of the property. Location of the addition of the construction in the front of the house would result in damage or removal of mature trees.
3. A Variance may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good. The design of the proposed addition 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 construction.
4. A Variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purposes of the By-Law. The addition will support an allowed use of the Property. The location of the proposed addition reads like a side yard and it would conform to the 15' side yard setback. The granting of a dimensional variance in this instance is consistent with the purposes of the By-Law.
Upon a motion made by Robyn S. Maguire and seconded by Joseph W. Freeman, the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law to construct a 20' x 26' family room addition located 15.9' from the front property line where 25' is required in Residence District A.
The Variance is granted subject the following conditions:
1. The construction shall be completed in accordance with the above-referenced plans, and representations made during the public hearing.
2. The Applicant shall extend the existing fence along Park Circle to the southeast corner of the addition in order to screen the addition.
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
June 24, 2016