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TOWN OF HINGHAM
Board of Appeals
NOTICE OF DECISION
IN THE MATTER OF:
Applicant and Deborah T. Smith Agent: Cavanaro Consulting
Property Owner: 39 Eldridge Court 687 Main Street
Hingham, MA 02043 Norwell, MA 02061
Premises: 39 Eldridge Court, Hingham, MA 02043
Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 39063, Page 136
Plan Reference: Site plan entitled, “Site Plan to Accompany ZBA Application, 39 Eldridge Court, Hingham, MA 02043,” prepared by Cavanaro Consulting, 687 Main Street, Norwell, MA, dated December 14, 2016 and an architectural plan set entitled, “Salt Marsh Residence,” including a floor and elevation plans, prepared by Zero Energy Design, dated December 14, 2016
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS
This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the application of Deborah T. Smith (the “Applicant”) for a Special Permit A1 under § III-C., 8. of the Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”) and such other relief as necessary to construct a detached garage located partially within the Floodplain Protection Overlay District at 39 Eldridge Court.
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at the Town Hall along with a concurrent hearing on a related application for a Finding pursuant to MGL c. 40A, § 6 and such other relief as necessary to reconstruct a nonconforming 3-story dwelling on the Property. The Board panel consisted of regular member Robyn S. Maguire, Acting Chair, and associate members Michael Mercurio and Jim Blakey. The Applicant was represented during the hearing by project engineer John Cavanaro, Cavanaro Consulting, and project architect, John Mucciaarone, Zero Energy Design. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Special Permit A1 under § III-C., 8. of the By-Law with conditions as set forth below.
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 contains approximately 52,158 SF of land. While the parcel is located directly adjacent to Chief Justice Cushing Highway/Route 3A, access is provided via an easement located from the end of Eldridge Court. The property, which backs up to the Mill Pond, is affected by areas of both salt marsh and floodplain.
The Applicant seeks a Special Permit to locate a detached garage partially within FEMA Flood Zone AE (10). The plan includes compensatory storage (182 SF) to offset the proposed 122 SF impact on floodplain area resulting from the proposed project. The Conservation Commission issued an Order of Conditions, dated January 11, 2017, approving both the proposed garage and spa location within the floodplain.
Section III-C of the By-Law also regulates activities in designated flood zones, generally prohibiting construction within the floodplain; however, § III-C, 8. provides an exemption that would allow construction by special permit if the land “is proven to the satisfaction of the Board of Appeals as being in fact not subject to flooding or not unsuitable because of drainage conditions for a use or structure…” The By-Law also requires the Board to first refer each application under this section to the Planning Board, Conservation Commission, and Board of Health for comment. As noted above, the Conservation Commission issued an Order of Conditions approving the project last month. Both the Planning Board and Board of Health indicated that their respective Boards either did not require review or would review the plan during the building permit process.
Based upon the information submitted and received, and the deliberations and discussions of Board members during the hearing, the Board has determined that:
a. The proposed use of the site is in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the Zoning By-Law, for the following reasons:
The Property is located within the Residence A Zoning District surrounded by other residential dwellings. The Property is an appropriate location for the proposed accessory residential use.
b. The proposed use complies with the purposes and standards of the relevant specific sections of this By-Law, for the following reasons:
Impacts associated with the detached accessory structure will offset by compensatory flood storage that adequately protects the interests of flood control and storm damage prevention in fulfillment of the purposes under Section III-C: Floodplain Protection Overlay District. The proposed location will further comply with the dimensional requirements for construction within the Residence District A in which it is located.
c. The specific site is an appropriate location for such use, structure, or condition, compatible with the characteristics of the surrounding area, for the following reasons:
The Property is located within the Residence A Zoning District surrounded by other residential dwellings, many of which include detached accessory structures; thus, the proposed construction is consistent with the characteristics of the neighborhood. Additionally, the project will not result in ponding or flooding based on both the proposed compensatory storage area and the existing topography of the lot, which slopes from the project site toward the salt marsh to the rear.
d. The use as developed and operated will create positive impacts or potential adverse impacts will be mitigated, for the following reasons:
The Applicant is providing compensatory flood storage for the project that adequately protects the interests of flood control and storm damage prevention. Additionally, an existing spa will be relocated outside of the floodplain, which also positively impacts flood storage capacity of the floodplain. The project overall will not interfere with the general purposes of the Floodplain Protection Overlay District and will not be detrimental to the public health, safety and or/welfare.
e. There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians, for the following reasons:
The construction of a detached accessory structure will not create a nuisance or hazard for pedestrians and will improve vehicular storage on the site, assuming compliance with conditions related to construction impacts.
f. Adequate and appropriate facilities exist or will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use, for the following reasons:
Adequate facilities exist for the proposed accessory structure. The property is presently connected to the municipal sewer system.
g. The proposed Project meets accepted design standards and criteria for the functional design of facilities, structures, stormwater management, and site construction, for the following reasons:
The Applicant is providing compensatory flood storage for the project and adequately protects the interests of flood control and storm damage prevention.
For the reasons set forth hereinabove, and upon a motion made by Michael Mercurio and seconded by Jim Blakey, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Special Permit A1 under § III-C., 8. of the By-Law to construct a detached garage located partially within the Floodplain Protection Overlay District at 39 Eldridge Court, subject to the following conditions:
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.
2. The Applicant shall inform abutters of the construction schedule a minimum of thirty (30) days prior to commencement.
3. The Applicant shall prepare and file a photo inventory to establish baseline conditions for the shared access drive and return the driveway to preconstruction condition prior to issuance of an occupancy permit.
4. Construction shall be limited to the hours between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm on weekdays and 8:00 am and 7:00 pm on weekends.
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 County 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
April 14, 2017