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TOWN OF HINGHAM
Board of Appeals
IN THE MATTER OF:
Property Owner Striden Corporation Agent: Attorney Charles Kelly
And Applicant: Caroline Hart, President 160 Old Derby Street
297 Washington Street Suite 107 Hingham, MA 02043
Braintree, MA 02184
Property: 30 Baker Hill Drive, Hingham, MA 02043
Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 45744, Pahe 211
Plan References: Site plan entitled, "Plot Plan of Land," prepared by Hoyt Land Surveying, 1287 Washington Street, Weymouth, MA, dated January 25, 2017; Drawing entitled, “Rear Retaining Wall,” unsigned, undated, received by the Board on March 28, 2017; and specifications sheet for 9-Guage Chain Link Fencing received by the Board on April 19, 2017
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS
This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals on the application of Striden Corporation (the "Applicant") for a Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”) and such other relief as necessary to install a wall and fence exceeding 6’ in height and resulting in a 13.4’ rear yard setback where 15’ is required at 30 Baker Hill Drive in Residence District A.
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on April 19, 2017 at Hingham Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The Board panel consisted of its regular members Joseph W. Freeman, Chairman, and Joseph M. Fisher, and associate member Mario Romania. The Applicant was represented during the hearing by Gerald Hart and Paul Gratta. 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, the Petitioner, their Agent, and the comments of the general public, all as made or received at the public hearing.
The subject property consists of 21,181 SF of land located on the north side of Baker Hill Drive. A single-family dwelling was recently constructed on the Property along with a retaining wall located to its rear. The Applicant now seeks relief from minimum side and rear yard setback requirements to relocate a portion of the wall and install a 4’-tall, black vinyl coated fence on top of the retaining wall for safety purposes.
The Board reviewed a plan filed with the Building Department that includes spot grades. The plan confirms that a small portion of the proposed wall and fence structure would require relief. In the northwest corner of the property, the existing wall is approximately 2.6’ in height at a distance 4’ from the side property line. Once the fence is installed, an 11’ section of the wall will exceed 6’ within the required side yard setback. The wall within the rear yard setback is presently terraced. The Applicant would like to consolidate the terraced portion into a single structure. At a height of approximately 7.5’, this portion of the wall would then qualify as a structure under the definition contained in Section VI of the By-Law. While much of this portion of the wall conforms to the required 15’ rear yard setback, a portion would be located a minimum of 13.4’ from the rear property line.
During the hearing, project representatives indicated that the wall was required to make the back yard functional and the fence is required for safety purposes.
Based upon the information submitted and received at the hearing, and the deliberations and discussions of the Board members during the meeting, the Board has determined that:
1. Circumstances related to soil, shape, or topography especially affect the land or structures in question: The property is affected by both varying grades and an unusual lot shape. 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. A retaining wall was required in order to reasonably use the rear portion of the property. Absent relief, the Applicant would be limited from installing a fence along the top of the wall for safety purposes. The hardship demonstrated is appropriate for modest nature of the requested relief.
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. There will be no adverse effects and there will be no harm to the public good resulting from the proposed fence installation.
4. A Variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purposes of the By-Law. The proposed additional incursion is relatively modest. 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 Mario Romania, the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested Variance from § IV-A of the By-Law and such other relief as necessary to locate a retaining wall and fence partially within the 15’ side and rear yard setbacks required in Residence District A, subject to the following condition:
1. The Applicant shall complete the project in a manner consistent with the approved plans and the representations made at the hearings before the Board.
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
May 10, 2017