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Board of Appeals



Applicant and Michael T. Pollard & Jennifer L. Davis
Property Owner: 49 School Street
Hingham, MA 02043

Property: 49 School Street, Hingham, MA 02043

Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 45831, Page 154

Plan Reference: Plan entitled, “Plot Plan of Land,” prepared by Perkins Engineering, Inc., 160 Old Derby Street, Hingham, MA, dated August 12, 2015 and architectural plans entitled, “New Barn,” prepared by Duxborough Designs, 153 West Street, Duxbury, MA, dated March 30, 2017 (5 drawings)


This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the application of Michael T. Pollard and Jennifer L. Davis (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 replace a shed with a (14’ x 22’) detached barn/garage with a full basement and 2nd floor storage space located 1’-10” from the property line at 49 School Street in Residence District A.

A public hearing was duly noticed and held on May 17, 2017 at Hingham Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The Board of Appeals panel consisted of its regular members Joseph W. Freeman, Chair, Robyn S. Maguire, and Joseph M. Fisher. The Applicant appeared to represent the application during the hearing. 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 consists of 6,718 SF located on the west side of School Street. The lot has an irregular, wedge-like shape with 83.23’ of frontage and a width of 12.22’ at the rear property line. An existing single-family dwelling, which dates to 1900 according to the Assessor’s database, is located just 2.3’ from the west side property line. The onsite wastewater disposal system occupies the eastern portion of front yard. Two sheds are also located on the lot.

The proposed project consists of a single bay detached accessory structure that would replace the existing front shed. The proposed structure is sited 5’ from the rear portion of the house. Due to the irregular lot shape, the rear of the garage would be a minimum of 1’-10” from the south side property line while the front of the garage would be located a minimum of 10’ from the existing onsite leaching field.

The property is also located in the Hingham Center Historic District. The Historic Districts Commission review the proposed plan and issued a Certificate of Appropriateness authorizing the construction on April 12, 2017.


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 Property is limited by an irregular, wedge-like lot shape with 83.23’ of frontage and a width of 12.22’ at the rear property line. The location of an onsite wastewater disposal system, consisting of a septic tank and leaching field, further limits the Property. These shape and soil conditions do not generally affect either the neighborhood or the zoning district.

2. The literal enforcement of the By-Laws would involve substantial hardship financial or otherwise. The location of the septic system in relation to existing nonconforming dwelling, in addition to lot shape issues, present significant regulatory and physical barriers to locating the proposed accessory structure elsewhere on the Property. The hardship demonstrated is appropriate, particularly where a nonconformity already exists.

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. The proposed design is consistent with the surrounding neighborhood. There will be no adverse effects and there will be no harm to the public good resulting from the proposed accessory structure.

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 Robyn S. Maguire, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Variance from § IV-A of the By-Law and such other relief as necessary to replace a shed with a (14’ x 22’) detached barn/garage with a full basement and second floor storage space located 1’-10” from the property line where 15’ is required at 49 School Street 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. Plan changes resulting from the Board of Health review, and specifically any change in the approved building footprint or location, shall require modification of this Decision.

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
July 17, 2017