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TOWN OF HINGHAM
Board of Appeals
NOTICE OF DECISION
IN THE MATTER OF:
Applicant: Thomas & Erica Quirk
52 Elmore Road
Hingham, MA 02043
Property: 52 Elmore Road, Hingham, MA 02043
Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 42469, Page 251
Plan Reference: Site plan entitled, "Proposed Addition Plan,” prepared by Morse Engineering Co., Inc., 19 Union Street, Scituate, MA, dated July 17, 2017 (1 Sheet) and architectural drawings entitled, "Quirk Residence, 52 Elmore Rd., Hingham, MA," dated July 17, 2017 (5 Drawings)
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS
This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the application of Thomas & Erica Quirk (collectively, the “Applicant”) for a Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”) and such other relief as necessary to 1.) replace an existing detached garage that encroaches into an adjoining street with a new attached, two-car garage and 2.) construct a farmers porch, resulting in nonconforming front yard setbacks of 19.1’ and 22.3’ respectively where 50’ is required at 52 Elmore Road in Residence District C.
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on August 15, 2017, at the Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The Board panel consisted of its regular members Robyn S. Maguire, Chair, and Joseph M. Fisher, and associate member Joseph W. Freeman. The Applicant appeared to present the request. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested relief 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.
BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION
The subject property consists of approximately 13,939 SF of land bound by Elmore Road to the west, World’s End Reservation and the Weir River to the north and east, and a residential property to the south. In additional to a highly irregular lot shape (see image), more than half of the property is affected by wetland resource area and regulatory buffers to coastal bank and salt marsh.
The lot is improved by a preexisting, nonconforming single-family dwelling (ca. 1928). A detached accessory structure is located partially on the northwestern portion of the lot and partially within the Elmore Road right-of-way. The existing septic system supporting the house will be replaced by a new soil absorption system located in the northwestern portion of the lot, just beyond the 100’ buffer to the onsite coastal bank.
The proposed plan calls for construction of a new, attached garage and entryway addition, 28’x26’ in size, resulting in a 19.1’ front yard setback. Residence District C requires a 50’ front yard setback; however, the so-called Hatfield Amendment, Section III-I, 2 of the By-Law, would allow by-right extension of the dwelling within 26.7’ of the front property line. The additional 7.6’ incursion is minimized to some extent by the position of the existing dwelling and proposed addition in relation to the unusual lot shape. Only a small triangular portion of the proposed garage would require relief. Additionally, the encroachment into Elmore Road associated with the existing garage will be eliminated through demolition.
The application also requests relief to construct a farmers porch, 30’x6.5’ in size, resulting in a 22.3’ front yard setback. Again, only a small, triangular portion of the porch would extend beyond the existing nonconforming dwelling.
With the application, the Board received letters of support signed by seven abutters to the property.
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 unusually shaped and affected by soil conditions, including an onsite coastal bank and wastewater disposal system. These conditions, in combination with the location of the existing improvements on the lot, especially affect the subject property and not generally the zoning district.
2. The literal enforcement of the By-Laws would involve substantial hardship financial or otherwise. There are physical, financial, and regulatory barriers to by-right location of both a functional garage and front porch on the property. Absent relief, the Applicant would be required to maintain an undersized accessory structure that encroaches on the adjoining right-of-way. The proposed incursions are relatively modest in scale. A grant of a variance in this instance will allow for reasonable accessory uses that are consistent with other single-family uses in the area.
3. A Variance may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good. The proposed garage and porch will not create any noise, traffic, or result in other similar negative impacts. Additionally, the design of each structure is consistent with other improvements in the neighborhood. There will be no adverse effects on the neighborhood and there will be no harm to the public good resulting from the proposed construction.
4. A Variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purposes of the By-Law. The requested relief is relatively modest in scale. 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 Joseph W. Freeman, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Variance from § IV-A of the By-Law and such other relief as necessary to 1.) replace an existing detached garage that encroaches into an adjoining street with a new attached, two-car garage and 2.) construct a farmers porch, resulting in nonconforming front yard setbacks of 19.1’ and 22.3’ respectively where 50’ is required at 52 Elmore Road in Residence District C, 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.
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,
Robyn S. Maguire
October 26, 2017