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Board of Appeals



Applicant: Warren & Robin Pelissier
682 Main Street
Hingham, MA 02043

Property: 682 Main Street, Hingham, MA 02043

Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 48212, Page 126

Plan Reference: Site plan entitled, "Proposed Building Plan,” prepared by Cavanaro Consulting, 687 Main Street, Norwell, MA, dated July 18, 2017, Drawing SP and architectural drawings entitled, "Pelissier Residence, Garage, 682 Main Street, Hingham, Massachusetts," prepared by Sally Weston Associates, 222 North Street, Hingham, MA, dated April 19, 2017 (Title Sheet and 8 Drawings)


This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the application of Warren and Robin Pelissier (collectively, the “Applicant”) for a Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”) and such other relief as necessary to reconstruct a detached garage resulting in a 4’ side yard setback where 20’ is required at 682 Main Street 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 was represented by the project architect, Sally Weston. 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.


The subject property consists of 42,174 SF of land located on the easterly side of Main Street/Route 228. The lot has an irregular shape, with ten different segments. The submitted site plan also depicts a ledge outcropping and gradual slope affecting the front/southwest portion of the property. The lot is improved by an antique (ca. 1806), 1.5-story cape. A detached outbuilding measuring 304 SF in area is located entirely within the required (south) side yard setback. Portions of the onsite wastewater disposal system are located in the area between the dwelling and the existing accessory structure.

The proposed plan calls for demolition of the existing undersized outbuilding (16’x11.5’, plus a 10’x12’ rear addition) and construction of a new, 1.5-story, 2-car garage (23’x26’). The proposed garage would be set back approximately 20’ from the location of the current outbuilding, thereby eliminating an approximate 0.5-1.0’ side yard setback nonconformity measured from a property line parallel to Main Street. The proposed garage would otherwise maintain the 4’ setback measured from the southerly side property line perpendicular to Main Street to the rear addition of the existing outbuilding. The proposed area of incursion beyond that presently existing would be approximately 112 SF. The applicant suggests that relief, while maintaining the existing access over a historic brick driveway, will result in a safer and more functional use of the property.

The property is located in the Glad Tidings Local Historic District. As a result, the proposed demolition and construction required review by the Historic Districts Commission (HDC). The Board received a copy of the HDC’s Certificate of Appropriateness, dated June 29, 2017, approving the proposed project.


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 irregularly shaped property is affected by ledge outcropping and natural topography that slopes up from Main Street before leveling off at the proposed location of the garage. These circumstances, in combination with the location of the existing improvements on the lot, especially affect the subject property and not more 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 a functional garage on the property. Absent relief, the Applicant would be required to maintain an undersized outbuilding that does not provide adequate storage or safe maneuvering room for vehicles. A grant of a variance in this instance will allow for a reasonable accessory use that is consistent with other single-family uses in the area.

3. A Variance may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good. The design of the garage maintains the historic streetscape, as evidenced by the Certificate of Appropriateness issued by the Historic Districts Commission on June 29, 2017. There will be no adverse effects on the neighborhood 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 structure is an allowed accessory use to the principal residential use of the Property. The proposed replacement garage will eliminate an existing nonconformity and extend another. The resulting area of incursion beyond that existing is approximately 100 SF, which 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 W. Freeman and seconded by Joseph M. Fisher, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Variance from § IV-A of the By-Law and such other relief as necessary to reconstruct a detached garage resulting in a 4’ side yard setback where 20’ is required at 682 Main Street 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.

2. Prior to application for a building permit, the Applicant shall revise the architectural plans in a manner consistent with the Historic District Commission’s Certificate of Appropriateness as follows:
a. Replace proposed second floor window on right (south) elevation with a full-size window measuring 2’-8” x 4’-9”;
b. Eliminate the proposed dormer from the front (west) elevation of the garage;
c. Specify wood for all siding, trim, door, and window materials.
3. The structure shall not be used as a separate dwelling unit.

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