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Board of Appeals



Applicant/Owner: Raymond C. and Susan P. Dupras
24 Emerald Street
Hingham, MA 02043

Property: 24 Emerald Street, Hingham, MA 02043

Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 13787, Page 2

Plan References: Site plan entitled, “Existing House, 24 Emerald Street, Hingham, MA,” prepared by Essex Eng. & Survey, PO Box 650217, West Newton, MA, dated December 20, 2017 (1 Sheet) and an unstamped architectural plan entitled, "Dupras Residence," dated April 5, 2018 (1 Drawings)


This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the application of Raymond C. and Susan P. Dupras (collectively the “Applicant”) for a Special Permit A1 under § III-A, 1.2 of the Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”) and such other relief as necessary to attach a single-family dwelling to an existing barn and convert the single-family dwelling to a two-family dwelling at 24 Emerald Street in Residence District A.

A public hearing was duly noticed and held on June 19, 2018 at Hingham Town Hall, 210 Central Street, along with a concurrent hearing on an application for a Finding under M.G.L., c. 40A, § 6. The Board panel consisted of its regular member Joseph M. Fisher, Acting Chair, and associate members Joseph W. Freeman and Michael Mercurio. The Applicant appeared to present the application along with Jeffrey Tocchio, Esq. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to make the grant the requested special permit to attach a single-family dwelling to an existing nonconforming barn and to convert the single-family dwelling to a two-family dwelling.

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 39,604 SF of land. Located on the north side of Emerald Street, the lot also has frontage on Thayer Street and an unconstructed portion of Bates Way. The lot is presently improved by a single family dwelling built during the late 19th century in the Greek revival style. A detached barn is also located on the property. This accessory structure sits to the immediate rear of the dwelling within the northerly side yard setback.

The proposed plan would connect the two existing structures to one another by way of an addition that would range from approximately 4’ to 7’ in depth and approximately 30’ in length. The proposed addition will conform to the setbacks required under the By-Law in Residence District A; however, the connection itself will technically result in a change of use in the barn from that of an "Accessory Building" to a "Single Family Dwelling". The Applicant requested a Finding from the Board in order to permit the connection.

The Applicant seeks a Special Permit A1 in order to convert the single-family dwelling, which as proposed would include the attached barn, to a two-family dwelling. Section III-A, 1.2 of the By-Law allows the alteration and conversion of a single-family dwelling existing as of March 10, 1941 and consisting of at least six rooms, exclusive of hall and baths, to a two-family dwelling. According to the Assessor records, the existing single family dwelling was constructed in 1870 and consists of ten rooms, including 4 bedrooms. These details satisfy both the date-based and size criteria for conversion. Section III-A, 1.2 also requires the converted structure to maintain the appearance of a single-family dwelling. Aside from the modest addition to the rear of the existing dwelling, which will connect the structure to the barn, no significant exterior changes would be required in order to accommodate two families.

Proposed interior work includes conversion of the existing barn structure to a two-bedroom dwelling unit. The Applicant represented to the Board that the unit would consist of two bedrooms and allow the current owners to continue to independently reside on the property with extended family.

In considering the adequacy of the property to serve the proposed use, the Board noted that the existing dwelling is connected to the municipal sewer system. Additionally, the existing driveway for the property provides ample parking for the two units.

During the hearing, an abutter to the Property appeared to express support for the project.


Based upon the information submitted and received at the hearing, and the deliberations and discussion during the hearing, the Board made the following findings in accordance with § I-F, 2:

1. Use of the property is in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the Zoning By-Law. The proposed two-family use is in harmony with the purposes and intent of the By-Law because this is a residential use in a residential district. The proposed second unit will not affect the public health, safety, or welfare.

2. The proposed use complies with the purposes and standards of the relevant sections of the By-Law. The existing single-family dwelling was constructed prior to 1941 and consists of more than six rooms, exclusive of halls and bathrooms, as required by § III-A, 1.2. The second unit will be located within the existing barn and will not alter the character of the principal structure from that of a single-family dwelling.

3. The specific site is an appropriate location for the proposed use and is compatible with the characteristics of the surrounding area. The exterior of the structure will maintain the appearance of a single-family, consistent with others in the neighborhood. The proposed connection between the existing dwelling and barn will not be visible from Emerald Street.

4. The use as developed and operated will create positive impacts or potential adverse impacts will be mitigated. There will be no adverse impacts associated with the proposed use of the property as a two-family dwelling. Additional housing will be created with no impact on the neighborhood.

5. There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians. A sizeable driveway on the property provides adequate parking for the proposed two-family use. There will be no nuisance or hazard resulting from the conversion.

6. Adequate and appropriate facilities exist or will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use. Adequate facilities exist for wastewater disposal and onsite parking.

7. The proposal meets accepted design standards and criteria for the functional design of facilities, structures, stormwater management, and site construction. The proposal meets accepted design standards.


Upon a motion made by Joseph W. Freeman and seconded by Michael Mercurio, the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested Special Permit A1 under § III-A, 1.2 of the By-Law and such other relief as necessary to attach a single-family dwelling to an existing barn and convert the single-family dwelling to a two-family dwelling at 24 Emerald Street in Residence District A, subject to the following conditions:

1. The work shall be completed in accordance with the approved architectural plans and representations made during the public hearing, including the representation that the proposed additional dwelling unit shall consist of no more than 2-bedrooms.

2. Prior to application for a building permit, the applicant shall submit an updated site plan to reflect the improvements represented on the approved architectural plans, as well as a floor plan for the second floor of the proposed dwelling.

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,

Joseph W. Freeman
August 9, 2018