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TOWN OF HINGHAM
Board of Appeals
NOTICE OF DECISION
IN THE MATTER OF:
Owner/Applicant: Thomas S. Quirk
52 Elmore Road
Hingham, MA 02043
Premises: 1-3 Rockwood Road, Hingham, MA 02043
Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 42469, Page 264
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS:
This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the application of Thomas S. Quirk (the “Applicant”) for a Special Permit A1 under § III-A, 1.2 of the Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”) and such other relief as necessary to maintain the use of the dwelling at 1-3 Rockwood Road as a Two-Family in Residence District C.
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on July 18, 2017 at the Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The Board panel consisted of its regular members Robyn S. Maguire, Acting Chair, and Joseph M. Fisher, and associate member Michael Mercurio. The Applicant appeared to present the application. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Special Permit A1 under § III-A,1.2 of the By-Law subject to conditions 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.
The subject property consists of approximately 12,630 SF of land and is improved by a residential structure that dates to ca. 1900 according to the assessor record. The Applicant represented to the Board that the dwelling has been maintained continuously as a two-family for decades. During the hearing, the Board received an “Attestation Statement” and testimony from Herbert Hirsch, dated July 15, 2017, that confirmed that the structure, which was previously located at the corner of North and Station Streets, was used as a two-family dwelling in the 1950s. According to Mr. Hirsch – a former occupant of the dwelling - the building was relocated to its present location in approximately 1953. The Applicant also submitted “Street Listings of Residents,” provided by the Town Clerk, which report two separate families occupying the dwelling in 1955 and 1960. A 1966 Mortgage issued to the predecessor in title also referenced two units on the property. Finally, abutters to the property confirmed during the public comment portion of the hearing that the dwelling continued to be used as a two-family to the present day.
However, other Town records, including those of the Assessor and the Building Departments, classify the dwelling as a Single-Family. As a result, the Applicant submitted the Special Permit Application to formally change the use of the property to that of a Two-Family.
Abutters to the property expressed some concern during the hearing about the condition of the property. The Applicant indicated that the yard and building would be better maintained going forward. No abutters opposed the continued use of the property as a Two-Family Dwelling.
Based upon the information submitted and received at the hearing, prior actions of the Board, and the deliberations and discussions of members during the meeting, the Board has determined that:
a. The proposed use will be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the Zoning By-Law, for the following reasons:
Use of the property as a two-family dwelling is in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the Zoning By-Law because this is a residential use in a residential district. The proposed secondary unit will not affect public health, safety, or welfare.
b. The proposed use complies with the purposes and standards of the relevant specific sections of this By-Law, for the following reasons:
The proposed use complies with the standards specified in § III-A, 1.2. The structure dates to 1890, which meets the date-based criteria under the By-Law. The dwelling also consists of more than six rooms exclusion of halls and baths and will maintain the character of a single-family dwelling.
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 location is an appropriate location for the proposed use. The exterior appearance of the structure maintains the appearance of a single-family, consistent with others in the neighborhood.
d. The use as developed and operated will create positive impacts or potential adverse impacts will be mitigated, for the following reasons:
There will be no adverse impacts associated with the continued use of the property as a two-family dwelling.
e. There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians, for the following reasons:
There will be no hazard to vehicles or pedestrians created by the conversion since there is a large driveway on the property that provides adequate parking for both units.
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 to support the continued use of the property as a two-family dwelling.
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:
No alterations are proposed to the existing building. Not applicable.
Upon a motion duly made by Joseph M. Fisher and seconded by Michael Mercurio, the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested Special Permit A1 under § III-A, 1.2 of the By-Law and such other relief as necessary to maintain the use of the dwelling at 1-3 Rockwood Road as a Two-Family in Residence District C, subject to the following conditions:
1. The Applicant shall maintain the Two-Family Use in accordance with the representations made at the hearing before the Board.
This Decision shall not become effective until (i) the Town Clerk as 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 Board of Appeals,
Robyn S. Maguire
September 12, 2017