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Board of Appeals






Applicant/Owner:       Evan C. & Melissa A. McNamara       Agent:      Jeffrey A. Tocchio, Esq.
                           31 Park View Drive                                                         175 Derby Street, Suite 30
                           Hingham, MA 02043                                                      Hingham, MA 02043

Property:                     31 Park View Drive, Hingham, MA 02043

Deed Reference:              Certificate of Title No. 123494 issued by the Plymouth County Registry District of the Land Court

Plan Reference:                Existing conditions plan entitled, “Mortgage Inspection Plan,” prepared by Northern Associates, Inc., 68 Park Street, Andover, MA, dated April 22, 2016, and an architectural plan set, including proposed floor plans and site plan, prepared by Aprea Design, 23 Shipyard Drive, Hingham, MA, dated December 5, 2016 (A-1, A-2, and PS-1)


This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the application of Evan C. & Melissa A. McNamara (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 construct an attached 12'x 22' two-car garage with living space above, resulting in a 21' front yard setback where 25' is required at 31 Park View Drive in Residence District A.

A public hearing was duly noticed and held on January 11, 2017 at Hingham Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The Board of Appeals panel consisted of its regular members Joseph M. Fisher, Acting Chair, and Robyn S. Maguire and associate member Alan M. Kearney. The Applicant was represented during the hearing by Attorney Jeffrey A. Tocchio. At the conclusion of the proceedings, 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.


The subject property contains 9,777 +/- s.f. of land located on the north side of Park View Drive.  The Property is improved with an existing 1,658+/- s.f. single-family one-story dwelling and attached single-car garage.  The existing dwelling structure, with garage, was built in 1955.  The existing one-car garage is situated ½ floor below the main living floor elevation of the dwelling, and is approached via a steeply-pitched driveway.  The garage is undersized, being 12’ by 18’, with a roll-up door opening only 8’ in width and 6’ 10” in height. 

The Property is an irregularly shaped, non-conforming lot, as it contains only 9,777+/- s.f. of land, and has 123+/- linear feet of frontage along Park View Drive, and only 111+/- linear feet along the rear lot line, with shallow depths of 86+/- linear feet along the westerly side lot line and 82+/- linear feet along the easterly side lot line. The Property is also burdened with significant elevation change that slopes downward between the dwelling and the front lot line toward Park View Drive.  The Applicant represented that the resulting steeply pitched driveway creates a hazard during inclement weather, especially with the existence of snow and ice, and presents a danger to visitors. 

The proposed project will replace the undersized single-car garage with an attached 21’ by 22’ two-car garage, with additional living space above. The proposed garage will have two door openings, each 8’ in height and 9’ in width, and will provide internal access to/from the dwelling.  Above the proposed garage will be an expansion of the living space for use by the Applicant’s family. The driveway will be regraded to provide safer pedestrian and vehicular access to the Property.  The new garage and living space above are proposed to be located approximately 21’ from the front property line, and will only occupy 90 +/- s.f. within the front 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:

  1. There are circumstances relating to soil conditions, shape or topography especially affecting the land but not affecting generally the zoning district. The combination of an irregular shape, topographical conditions, and the placement of the existing dwelling on the lot, is not generally found throughout the zoning district.
  2. The literal enforcement of the Bylaws would involve substantial hardship financial or otherwise.  Physical, regulatory and financial barriers exist to the by right location of the proposed garage expansion and living space addition. A literal enforcement would limit the applicant to an upward expansion, which is not a practical location for an enlarged garage, entryway, and family room. Similar improvements are common in the neighborhood. A grant of a variance in this instance will allow for a reasonable use that is consistent other single-family uses in the Residence B Zoning District.
  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. In fact, the project will improve the utility and appearance of the dwelling and the general streetscape of the neighborhood. 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 Bylaw.  The requested relief will result in a modest 90 SF incursion into the front 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 Jim Blakey and seconded by Robyn Maguire, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Variance from § IV-A of the By-Law and such other relief as necessary to construct an attached 12'x 22' two-car garage with living space above, resulting in a 21' front yard setback where 25' is required, at 31 Park View Drive in Residence District A, subject to the following condition:

  1. The Applicant shall construct the Project in a manner consistent with the approved plans and the representations made at the hearings before the Board.

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

                                                                                       March 16, 2017