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IN THE MATTER OF:
Applicant/Owner: Curtis and Michele James
129 Central Street
Hingham, MA 02043
Premises: 129 Central Street, Hingham, MA 02043
Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 33402, Page 73
Plan References: Plan entitled, "Repair Subsurface Disposal System, 129 Central Street, Hingham, MA," prepared by James Engineering, Inc., 125 Great Rock Road, Hanover, MA, dated August 10, 2006 and an architectural plan set entitled, "Schematic Design Plans," including existing and proposed floor plans and elevations, prepared by Aprea Design, 23 Shipyard Drive, Hingham, MA, dated March 22, 2016 (Drawings A-1 - A-4 and E-1 - E-4)
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS:
This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the application of Curtis and Michele James (collectively, the "Applicant") for a Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law (the "By-Law") and such other relief as necessary to replace a nonconforming detached garage and shed with an attached (15'x32') garage located 5' from the southerly side property line where a 15’ side yard setback is required at 129 Central Street in Residence District A.
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on August 17, 2016 at Hingham Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The Board panel consisted of its regular members Joseph W. Freeman, Chairman, and Robyn S. Maguire, and associate member Michael Mercurio. Jeffrey A. Tocchio, Esq., Drohan, Tocchio & Morgan, P.C., appeared on behalf of the Applicant to present the application. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested relief from the side yard setback requirements under § IV-A of the By-Law subject to the conditions contained herein.
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 contains of 14,475 SF of land located on the west side of Central Street. The lot is wedge-shaped with 171 linear feet of frontage along Central Street, but only 15 linear feet along the rear property line. The site was previously improved by a single-family dwelling (ca. 1957) and detached single-car garage and shed. The garage and shed structures are presently located approximately 10' from the southerly side property line. Due to high groundwater conditions, the existing septic tank and mounted leaching field are located in the rear center of the lot.
The Applicant plans to replace the nonconforming accessory structures with a new attached garage located closer to Central Street. The proposed reconstruction would result in improved functionality by increasing both the structure's overall size and door-width and realigning its location with the driveway, parallel to the southerly property line and alongside the single-family dwelling. A rear door would provide access to the backyard. Board members suggested that the rear door be a minimum of 60" in width in order to accommodate a broader range of equipment for future maintenance.
During the hearing, Attorney Tocchio submitted a letter of support from direct abutters for the proposed project. No one else appeared to comment.
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 wedge-shaped with 171 linear feet of frontage along Central Street, but only 15 linear feet along the rear property line. Due to high groundwater conditions, the existing septic tank and mounted leaching field are located in the rear center of the lot. These circumstances in combination do not generally affect the neighborhood.
2. The literal enforcement of the By-Laws would involve substantial hardship financial or otherwise. The shape of the lot and location of the existing single-family dwelling relative to the onsite wastewater disposal system present both physical and regulatory barriers to locating a functional garage elsewhere on the property. Absent relief, the Applicant would be prohibited from making an improvement to the property that is consistent with a single family use allowed within residential zoning districts.
3. A Variance may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good. The proposed project will not create any noise, traffic, or result in other similar negative impacts. The proposed garage is would be consistent allowed residential uses in the district. There will be no adverse effects on the neighborhood and there will be no harm to the public good.
4. A Variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purposes of the By-Law. Relief will permit replacement of a nonconforming, undersized detached garage with an attached garage, which is an allowed accessory structure in residential districts. 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 Michael Mercurio, the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested Variance from § IV-A of the By-Law to replace a nonconforming detached garage and shed with an attached (15'x32') garage located 5' from the southerly side property line where a 15’ side yard setback is required at 129 Central Street in Residence District A.
The Variance is granted subject the following conditions:
1. The rights authorized by this Variance shall expire one year from the date this Decision is filed with the Town Clerk, unless exercised or extended in accordance with the terms of M.G.L. c. 40A, § 10.
2. The Applicant shall construct the Project in a manner consistent with the approved plans and the representations made at the hearings before the Board.
3. The rear door of the garage shall be a minimum width of 60" in width in order to allow passage of equipment to maintain the septic system in the future.
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, Chairman
August 19, 2016