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Board of Appeals



Applicant and Andrew & Nancy Faris Williams Agent:  HC Design
Property Owner: 77 Leavitt Street 146 Front Street, # 211
 Hingham, MA 02043  Scituate, MA 02066

Premises: 77 Leavitt Street, Hingham, MA 02043

Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 41889, Page 75

Plan Reference: Site plan entitled, “Plot Plan of Land,” prepared by Perkins Engineering, Inc., 160 Old Derby Street, Hingham, MA, dated January 6, 2017 and an architectural plan set entitled, “Zoning Hearing Application,” including existing and proposed floor, roof and elevation plans, prepared by HC Design, 146 Front Street, Scituate, MA, dated February 8, 2017 (Drawings EX 1-0 - 2-0, A1-0 and A2-0)


This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the application of Andrew Williams and Nancy Faris Williams (collectively, the “Applicant”) for a Finding under MGL c. 40A, § 6 and such other relief as necessary to construct a conforming addition to the rear of a nonconforming detached garage at 77 Leavitt Street in Residence District A.

A public hearing was duly noticed and held on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at the Town Hall before a panel consisting of regular members Joseph W. Freeman, Chair, Robyn S. Maguire, and Joseph M. Fisher. The Applicant appeared to present the application. 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 17,692 SF of land located on the south side of Leavitt Street. The property is improved by both a single-family dwelling and detached garage that is nonconforming with respect to its side yard setback. The proposed project includes a (19.5’x18’) addition to the rear and a (4’x17’) addition to the east of the detached garage. These additions will consist of a covered, open patio and storage space that will conform to the required 15’ side yard setback.
The application indicates that the existing garage was constructed in the 1950s when the Zoning By-Law had less restrictive zoning. Thus, the garage became a preexisting nonconforming structure when the Town adopted the 15’ side yard setback requirement and is therefore covered by the protections of M.G.L. c. 40A, § 6, first paragraph, which states (in part):
... a zoning ordinance or by-law...shall apply to any change or substantial extension of such use, to a building or special permit issued after the first notice of said public hearing, to any reconstruction, extension or structural change of such structure and to any alteration of a structure ... to provide for its use for a substantially different purpose or for the same purpose in a substantially different manner... Pre-existing nonconforming structures or uses may be extended or altered, provided, that no such extension or alteration shall be permitted unless there is a finding by the permit granting authority . . . that such change, extension or alteration shall not be substantially more detrimental than the existing nonconforming use to the neighborhood.

When read together, these portions of the statue provide that changes to nonconforming structures may be permitted if (1) the extensions or changes themselves comply with the by-law and (2) the structures as extended or changed are found to be not substantially more detrimental to the neighborhood than the preexisting nonconforming structure.

As noted above, the proposed new construction will conform to the dimensional requirements of the Zoning By-Law. The Board additionally found that the proposed construction will not create any additional noise, traffic, or other negative affect on the neighborhood.


For the reasons set forth hereinabove, and upon a motion made by Joseph M. Fisher and seconded by Robyn S. Maguire, the Board voted unanimously to make the following Finding under MGL c. 40A, § 6:

1. That the proposed construction would not be substantially more detrimental than the existing nonconforming structure to the neighborhood, provided that such work proceeds in accordance with the plans and representations made by the Applicant to 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 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,

Joseph W. Freeman
May 24, 2017