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Board of Appeals



Applicant/Owner: Robert J. Cutler, Jr. & Gretchen L. Kinder
24 Grove Street
Hingham, MA 02043

Premises: 24 Grove Street, Hingham, MA 02043

Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 40789, Page 266

Plan References: Site plan entitled, "Plan Showing Proposed Addition, 24 Grove Street, Hingham, MA Plymouth County," prepared by D. O’Brien Land Surveying, 31 Hayward Street, Franklin, MA, dated November 28, 2017 (1 Sheet) and architectural plan set entitled, “Proposed Addition/Renovation,” prepared by LJ Bruno, dated April 18, 2017 (6 Drawings)


This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the application of Robert Cutler and Gretchen Kinder (collectively, the “Applicant”) for a Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”) and such other relief as necessary to construct an addition resulting in a 11.5’ side yard setback where 15’ is required at 24 Grove Avenue in Residence District A.

A public hearing was duly noticed and held on January 16, 2018 at Hingham Town Hall, 210 Central Street. After filing the application and prior to the initial hearing, the Applicant submitted the above-referenced site plan, which reduced the proposed incursion into the side yard setback from 11.5’ to 12.2’.

The Board panel consisted of its regular members Robyn S. Maguire, Chair, and Joseph M. Fisher, and associate member Alan M. Kearney. The Applicant appeared to present the application. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested relief to construct an addition resulting in a 12.2’ side yard setback where 15’ is required, 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 5,335 SF of land located at the intersection of Grove Avenue and Hayes Road. The site is irregularly shaped, with a curved front property line influenced by the Grove Avenue layout and otherwise shaped similar to a trapezoid. The lot is also heavily impacted by the presence of ledge.

The site is improved by a single-family dwelling (ca. 1925) that is presently nonconforming with respect to front and southeast side yard setbacks. Existing decks and porches also extend into front and rear yard setbacks. The applicant seeks relief to create a newly nonconforming northwest side yard setback in order to construct a single story addition consisting of approximately 272 SF. Due to the irregular lot shape, only a small triangular portion of the proposed addition would be located within the required side yard setback.

During the hearing, the Applicant represented to the Board that a by-right expansion through the addition of a second floor was considered, but ruled out as cost prohibitive and impractical. The existing dwelling was not designed to support a second story, so an upward expansion would necessitate a full demolition and reconstruction. The Board agreed that the proposed addition would create less massing on the lot than a second story addition and otherwise found the proposed incursion to be di minimis.


Based upon the information submitted and received at the hearing, and the deliberations and discussion 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 the presence of significant ledge outcroppings. 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 the proposed addition elsewhere on the property. 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 addition will not create any noise, traffic, or result in other similar negative impacts. Additionally, the design of the addition is consistent with both the existing dwelling and 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, resulting in a small, triangular incursion into the side yard setback. 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 Alan M. Kearney, the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested Variance from § IV-A of the By-Law and such other relief as necessary to construct an addition resulting in a 11.5’ side yard setback where 15’ is required at 24 Grove Avenue 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.

The zoning relief granted herein shall not become effective until (i) the Town Clerk has 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 Zoning Board of Appeals,

Robyn S. Maguire
February 28, 2018