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Board of Appeals



Applicant/Owner: Lauren Stevens
54 Wompatuck Road
Hingham, MA 02043

Premises: 54 Wompatuck Road, Hingham, MA 02043

Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Book 44024, Page 271

Plan References: "Plot Plan to Accompany NOI for 54 Wompatuck Road in Hingham, Mass," prepared by C&G Survey Company, 37 Jackson Road, Scituate, MA, dated July 27, 2015, revised copy showing proposed addition received by the Board on March 24, 2016 and 3D images of the proposed construction (Images 1-8)


This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the application of Lauren Stevens (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 garage addition with living space above within the required 25' front yard setback 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. During the initial hearing, the Applicant requested a continuance in order to seek an Amended Order of Conditions from the Conservation Commission. A subsequent hearing was held by the Board on June 15, 2016. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Variance 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.


The subject property consists of approximately 1.1 acres located on the westerly side of Wompatuck Road. While the right-of-way adjoining the front of the property meets the lot along a straight line, the paved portion of the roadway curves sharply in front of the lot. For this reason, the existing driveway accessing the lot runs for a distance of approximately 66' - 42' from the paved portion of Wompatuck before intersecting with the Applicant's property. The rear portion of the property is severely limited by a wetland resource area as well as FEMA flood zone AE.

The lot is improved by a single-family dwelling, which is located entirely within the 100' buffer to the onsite wetland system. The house is modest in size and includes just two-bedrooms. The proposed plan, would locate an addition consisting of living space and an attached garage on the southerly facing facade. The proposed footprint would provide a 3' setback from the front property line. The Applicant submitted 3-D images depicting the proposed construction; however, these renderings do not reflect the intended location of the garage doors. The Applicant represented that she planned to place the garage entrance on the side elevation as opposed to the front.

As noted in the Procedural Summary, the project required review by the Conservation Commission. The Commission reviewed the revised request and issued an Amended Order of Conditions on June 7, 2016. The Order requires 2:1 mitigation plans for the addition of 115 SF of impervious surface on site.


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 property is affected by wetlands and floodplain to the rear of the existing dwelling. The curvature of the paved portion of Wompatuck Road is sufficiently far from the subject property to create the appearance of a setback that would exceed that required by the By-Law.

2. The literal enforcement of the By-Laws would involve substantial hardship financial or otherwise. The onsite wetland resource and floodplain area create physical and regulatory barriers to by-right construction on the property. Absent relief, the Applicant would be prohibited from improving the existing 2-bedroom house in a manner consistent with others in the neighborhood.

3. A Variance may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good. The design of the proposed construction is 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. Due to the width of the right-of-way and the location of the paved portion of Wompatuck Road, the addition will appear to conform to the front setback requirement. The granting of a dimensional variance in this instance is consistent with the purposes of the By-Law.


Upon a motion made by Joseph W. Freeman and seconded by Robyn S. Maguire, the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law to construct an addition, consisting of an attached garage with living space above, within the required 25' front yard setback in Residence District A.

The Variance is granted subject the following condition:

1. Prior to application for a Building Permit, the Applicant shall submit a full set of plans to the Zoning Administrator for review for consistency with the approved plans and representations made by the Applicant 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
June 27, 2016