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TOWN OF HINGHAM
Board of Appeals
NOTICE OF DECISION
IN THE MATTER OF:
Owner/Applicant: Curtis and Michele James
129 Central Street
Hingham, MA 02043
Agent: Jeffrey A. Tocchio, Esq. and W. Prescott Golding, Esq.
Drohan Tocchio & Morgan, P.C.
175 Derby Street, Suite 30
Hingham, MA 02043
Property: 129 Central Street, Hingham, MA 02043
Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 33402, Page 73
Plan References: Plan entitled, “Site Plan, 129 Central Street, Hingham, MA,” prepared by James Engineering, Inc., 125 Great Rock Road, Hanover, MA, undated, received May 14, 2018 (1 Sheet) and an architectural plan set entitled, "James Residence, 129 Central Street, Hingham MA,” prepared by Aprea Design, 23 Shipyard Drive, Hingham, MA, dated May 11, 2018 (5 Drawings)
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS
This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the application of Curtis and Michele James (collectively, the "Applicant") for a Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to replace a nonconforming detached garage and shed with an attached (15’ x 32’) garage resulting in a 5’ side yard setback where 15’ is required at 129 Central Street in Residence District A.
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on May 15, 2018 at Hingham Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The Board panel consisted of its regular members Robyn S. Maguire, Chairman, and Joseph M. Fisher, and associate member Joseph W. Freeman. The Applicant was represented during the hearing by W. Prescott Golding, Esq., Drohan Tocchio & Morgan, P.C. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Variance from § IV-A of the By-Law, as modified, with conditions as 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 meeting.
The subject property consists of 14,475 SF located on the west side of Central Street. The lot is wedge-shaped with 171 linear feet of frontage along Central Street, but only 15 linear feet along the rear property line. The site is improved by a single-family dwelling (ca. 1957) and detached single-car garage and shed. The garage and shed structures are presently located approximately 10' from the southerly side property line. Due to high groundwater conditions, the existing septic tank and mounted leaching field are located in the rear center of the lot.
The Applicant plans to replace the nonconforming accessory structures with a new attached garage located closer to Central Street. The proposed reconstruction would result in improved functionality by increasing both the structure's overall size and door-width and realigning its location with the driveway, parallel to the southerly property line and alongside the single-family dwelling. A 60”-wide rear door would provide equipment access through the garage to the backyard for future maintenance.
During the hearing, the Board discussed a prior variance, dated August 19, 2016, which granted similar relief. Prior to expiration, the Applicant submitted a written request to extend the rights authorized by the variance. Pursuant to MGL c. 40a, § 10 and the Boards Rules and Regulations, the Zoning Administrator granted a six (6) month extension such that the variance remained in effect through February 16, 2018. While the Applicant filed a building permit application prior to that date, the application could not be approved because it was missing a surveyed site plan depicting the proposed conditions. As a result, the rights authorized by variance lapsed.
After the present application was filed, the Applicant submitted a surveyed site plan that located the existing improvements closer to the southerly side property line. The Applicant also submitted revised architectural plans, reducing the proposed width of the accessory structure from 15’ to 12.5’ in an effort to maintain the extent of relief previously granted by the Board.
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 is wedge-shaped with 171 linear feet of frontage along Central Street, but only 15 linear feet along the rear property line. Due to high groundwater conditions, the existing septic tank and mounted leaching field are located in the rear center of the lot. These circumstances in combination do not generally affect the neighborhood.
2. The literal enforcement of the By-Laws would involve substantial hardship financial or otherwise. The shape of the lot and location of the existing single-family dwelling relative to the onsite wastewater disposal system present both physical and regulatory barriers to locating a functional garage elsewhere on the property. Absent relief, the Applicant would be prohibited from making an improvement to the property that is consistent with a single family use allowed within residential zoning districts.
3. A Variance may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good. The proposed project will not create any noise, traffic, or result in other similar negative impacts. The proposed garage is would be consistent allowed residential uses in the district. There will be no adverse effects on the neighborhood and there will be no harm to the public good.
4. A Variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purposes of the By-Law. Relief will permit replacement of a nonconforming, undersized detached garage with an attached garage, which is an allowed accessory structure in residential districts. 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 replace a nonconforming detached garage and shed with an attached (12.5’ x 32’) garage resulting in a 5.1’ side yard setback where 15’ is required at 129 Central Street in Residence District A, subject to the following conditions:
1. The rights authorized by this Variance shall expire one year from the date this Decision is filed with the Town Clerk, unless exercised or extended in accordance with the terms of M.G.L. c. 40A, § 10.
2. The Applicant shall construct the Project in a manner consistent with the approved plans and the representations made at the hearings before the Board.
For The Board of Appeals,
Robyn S. Maguire
May 29, 2018