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Board of Appeals



Applicant/Owner: Michael and Jessica Beglin
38 Colonial Road
Hingham, MA 02043

Premises: 38 Colonial Road, Hingham, MA 02043

Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 46982, Page 257

Plan References: Plan entitled, “Plot Plan of Land,” prepared by Hoyt Land Surveying, 1287 Washington Street, Weymouth, MA, dated March 7, 2018 (1 Sheet) and architectural drawings, including elevations and floor plans, unsigned and undated (4 Sheets)


This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the application of Michael Beglin (the “Applicant”) for a Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”) and such other relief as necessary to modify an existing front porch, including the extension of the covered portion, within the required 35’ front yard setback at 38 Colonial Road in Residence District B.

A public hearing was duly noticed and held on April 10, 2018 at Hingham Town Hall, 210 Central Street. 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 modify an existing front porch, including the extension of the covered portion, resulting in a front yard setback of no less than 28.3’ where 35’ is required in Residence District B, 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 14,208 SF of land located at a bend in Colonial Road. The lot is improved by a single-family dwelling that is nonconforming with respect to current front and (south) side yard setbacks, as well as lot area. According to the Assessor’s Office, the dwelling dates to 1957. At that time, the property was located in Residence District A, which required a minimum front yard setback of 25’ and side yard setback of 10’. Subsequent increases to these dimensional requirements and amendments to the exceptions for undersized lots of record rendered the property preexisting nonconforming.

The Applicant requests relief to extend or alter the concrete landing attached to the front façade of the dwelling. The proposed changes include installation of a wood deck on top of the existing concrete landing, extension of the covered roof, and relocation of the front steps to align with the front doorway. The proposed extension maintains the existing nonconforming front yard setback of 28.3’ associated with the existing landing.

With the application, the Board received a letter of support from the owner of 41 Colonial Road, which is located across the street from the proposed work.


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 lot shape is affected by the curvature of Colonial Road. This condition, in combination with the location and first floor elevation of the preexisting, nonconforming 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. The lot shape in relation to the location of the existing dwelling present physical and practical difficulties to by-right construction elsewhere on the lot. Absent relief the Applicant would be required either to maintain the existing deteriorated structure or to incur significant expense altering the existing layout of the dwelling to comply with the setback requirements. A grant of a variance in this instance will allow for the reasonable modification and improvement of an existing front landing.

3. A Variance may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good. The proposed improvements will not create any noise, traffic, or result in other similar negative impacts. There will be no adverse effects on the neighborhood and there will be no harm to the public good resulting from the proposed construction. The proposed construction will instead improve the function and appearance of the existing landing.

4. A Variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purposes of the By-Law. The proposed extension is modest in nature. The requested relief will permit modification of an existing front landing to a covered front porch, which is a permitted accessory use. 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 modify an existing front porch, including the extension of the covered portion, within the required 35’ front yard setback at 38 Colonial Road in Residence District B, 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 such that the resulting front yard setback associated with the front porch shall be no less than 28.3’.

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
May 14, 2018