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Board of Appeals



Applicant: Gregory and Julianne Taylor
                 29 Hillside Terrace
                 Hingham, MA 02043

Property:  29 Hillside Terrace, Hingham, MA 02043

Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 12671, Page 320

Plan Reference: Site plans entitled, "Plan of Land, 29 Hillside Terrace, Hingham, MA,” prepared by J. Lowell Associates, 21 Fish Street, Pembroke, MA, dated August 28, 2000, marked to propose an attached garage, and architectural elevation plans entitled, "Proposed Garage, Taylor Residence," prepared by SPB Designs, PO Box 1441, Easton, MA, dated February 14, 2017 (Drawing A1)


This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the application of Gregory and Julianne Taylor (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 a detached 24’x24’ garage and 10’x12’ shed located within the required 15’ side and rear yard setbacks at 29 Hillside Terrace in Residence District A.

The Board opened a duly advertised and noticed public hearing on the application on February 15, 2017, but continued the matter without receipt of testimony at the Applicant's request to March 15, 2017. The hearing took place at the Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The Board panel consisted of its regular members Joseph W. Freeman, Chairman, Robyn S. Maguire, and Joseph M. Fisher.

During the March 15, 2017 hearing, the Applicant presented a revised plan that calls for an attached two-car garage and mudroom/entrance addition to the existing single-family dwelling on the Property. The request as revised eliminates any intrusion into the rear yard setback and proposes instead an approximate 9.6’ side yard setback. 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.


The subject property consists of 16,740 SF of land located on the southwest end of Hillside Terrace. The property is improved by a raised ranch style, single-family dwelling that was built in 1965. The lot shape is affected by the terminus of Hillside Terrace, which includes tail end that extends beyond a cul-de-sac. The Applicant also represented that variable topography and ledge are present on the property.

The originally proposed plan called for construction of a shed and detached garage that would each be located within required setbacks. The originally proposed garage would also encroach upon adjoining land owned by the Town of Hingham. As a result, the Applicant prepared a revised plan that proposed a conforming shed and a 28’x28’ attached garage/mudroom addition. The proposed addition would be located approximately 9.6’ from the northerly side yard setback where 15’ is required.

Following review of the revised plan, an abutter expressed concern about project impacts on her privacy, suggesting that the addition should be reduced. The Board discussed less intensive alternatives with the Applicant during the hearing. The Applicant offered to reduce the width of the proposed garage from 28’ to 26’, which would increase the proposed side yard setback from 9.6’ to 11.6’. The Applicant also agreed to maintain vegetative screening along the northerly side property line in order to minimize project impacts on the neighboring property.


Based upon the information submitted and received, and the deliberations and discussions of Board members during 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 shape is affected varying topography and areas of ledge. These circumstances in combination with the lot shape and location of the existing dwelling do not generally affect the neighborhood.

2. The literal enforcement of the By-Laws would involve substantial hardship financial or otherwise. The grade changes and the presence of ledge, both in relation to the existing dwelling, present significant difficulties and hardship with locating a garage elsewhere on the Property.

3. A Variance may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good. The proposed project will not generate noise, traffic, or result in other similar negative impacts. Vegetative screening will be maintained along the northerly side property line to maintain privacy of abutting properties. There will be no adverse effects and there will be no harm to the public good resulting from the proposed addition.

4. A Variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purposes of the By-Law. Relief will permit construction of a mudroom and two car garage, which are common improvements 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 Joseph M. Fisher and seconded by Robyn S. Maguire, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Variance from § IV-A of the By-Law as revised to construct a two-car garage and mudroom/entrance addition resulting in an 11.6’ side yard setback where 15’ is required at 29 Hillside Terrace in Residence District A, subject to the following conditions:

1. The Applicant shall construct the Project in a manner consistent with the approved plans as modified during the hearing before the Board such that the width of the addition is reduced to 26’ and the closest intrusion into the side property would be 11.6’.

2. Vegetative screening on the side property line shall be maintained at a height equal to the height of the window on the side elevation of the proposed garage.

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,

Joseph W. Freeman
April 13, 2017