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NOTICE OF DECISION
IN THE MATTER OF:
Applicant: Alexis V. and Jeremy W. Sartori
974 Main Street
Hingham, MA 02043
Property: 974 Main Street, Hingham, MA 02043
Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 40783, Page 47
Plan Reference: Site plans entitled, "Existing Conditions Plan,” dated September 29, 2016, Drawing EC, and “Proposed Site Plan,” dated December 8, 2016, Drawing SP, prepared by Cavanaro Consulting, 687 Main Street, Norwell, MA and architectural drawings entitled, "Sartori Residence Renovation, 974 Main Street, Hingham, Massachusetts," prepared by Tiryaki Architectural Design, LLC, 21 South Main Street, Cohasset, MA dated December 27, 2016 (Drawings AE1.1-1.2, AE2.1-2.2, A1.1-1.2 and A2.1-2.2)
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS
This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the application of Alexis V. and Jeremy W. Sartori (collectively, the “Applicant”) for a Variance from § IV-A of the Hingham Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”) and such other relief as necessary to connect an existing dwelling to a nonconforming garage, add living/storage space above, and construct an addition to the rear of the garage which is located 8.5' from the side yard setback where 20' is required at 974 Main Street in Residence District B.
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on January 11, 2017, at the Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The Board panel consisted of its regular members Joseph M. Fisher, Acting Chairman, and Robyn S. Maguire, and associate member Alan M. Kearney. The Applicant was represented by Attorney Jeffrey A. Tocchio, Drohan Tocchio & Morgan, P.C. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested relief subject to 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.
BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION
The subject property consists of approximately 49,658 SF of land located on the easterly side of Main Street. The lot was previously improved with a single-family dwelling and detached garage that were each constructed in 1912, prior to adoption of the Zoning By-Law. In 1991, the then-dilapidated garage was reconstructed within the original nonconforming footprint, which is located approximately 8.8’ from the southerly property line, in accordance with a building permit. Additionally, the basement of the existing dwelling is of limited functionality, due to an existing steep, low and narrow stairway that makes it difficult for the homeowners to access laundry facilities located in the basement of the home.
The Property is an irregularly shaped, nonconforming lot with a narrower width at its front (100 linear feet) than its rear (156 linear feet). The property is also affected by a significant change in grade with an 18’ elevation decrease in the 60’ distance between the improved portion of the lot and the rear yard. Additionally, an existing septic tank and leaching field is located towards the rear center of the lot.
The Applicant plans to connect the existing dwelling to the detached garage, add living/storage space above, and construct an addition to the rear of the garage. The proposed construction would maintain the existing nonconforming 8.8’ side yard setback associated with the garage. The addition to the rear of the garage will be set back farther from the lot line than the existing garage, due to the orientation of the structure and shape of the lot, and will be 10.75’ from the southerly property line at the rear corner. The proposed first floor addition includes a more accessible laundry/storage area, walk-in closet, and half-bath, and will be connected to the existing dwelling by an entry/mudroom, and will occupy only approximately 120 SF within the southerly side yard setback. The altered space above the existing garage will be used as living space, with a half-bath, and occupies approximately 265 SF of existing area within the side yard setback.
Based upon the information submitted and received, and the deliberations and discussions of Board members during the hearing, the Board has determined that:
- Circumstances related to soil, shape, or topography especially affect the land or structures in question: The Property is an irregularly shaped, nonconforming lot with a narrower width at its front (100 linear feet) than its rear (156 linear feet). The property is also affected by a significant change in grade with an 18’ elevation decrease in the 60’ distance between the improved portion of the lot and the rear yard. Additionally, an existing septic tank and leaching field is located towards the rear center of the lot. The combination of the lot shape, topographical conditions, and location of the septic system and other improvements on the Property, are not generally found in the Residence B zoning district.
- The literal enforcement of the By-Laws would involve substantial hardship financial or otherwise. The topographical conditions and location of the septic system in relation to the single-family dwelling and garage present significant difficulties and financial hardship with locating additional useable living and storage space elsewhere on the Property. Additionally, the basement of the existing dwelling is of limited functionality, due to an existing steep, low and narrow stairway that makes it difficult for the homeowners to access laundry facilities located in the basement of the home. The proposed project would result in more accessible laundry and storage facilities and otherwise utilize existing space within the garage.
- A Variance may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good. The project will not create any noise, traffic or result in other similar negative impacts. The design reflects a similar scale as other single-family dwellings 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.
- A Variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purposes of the By-Law. The construction will result in a relatively modest extension of existing nonconforming dimensions and an additional 120 SF incursion into the side yard setback. The resulting structure is consistent with the character of the neighborhood. 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 Alan M. Kearney, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law as revised to connect an existing dwelling to a nonconforming garage, add living/storage space above, and construct an addition to the rear of the garage which is located 8.5' from the side yard setback where 20' is required at 974 Main Street in Residence District B, subject to the following conditions:
- The Applicant shall construct the Project in a manner consistent with the approved plans and the representations made at the hearings before the Board.
- No additional living space may be created where it is not presently proposed without application for a modification of this Decision such that the provisions of Section III-I, 2 of the By-Law, the so-called Hatfield Amendment, shall not apply to the garage construction or the addition.
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 Registry of Deeds and/or the Plymouth County Land Court Registry, and 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 Board of Appeals,
Robyn S. Maguire
February 14, 2017