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TOWN OF HINGHAM
Board of Appeals
NOTICE OF DECISION
IN THE MATTER OF:
Owners/Applicant: Gregory T. and Lisa T. Donoghue
45 Middle Street
Hingham, MA 02043
Property: 45 Middle Street, Hingham, MA 02043
Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 49532, Page 109
Plan References: Site plan entitled, “Certified Plot Plan, 45 Middle Street – Hingham, MA,” prepared by Cavanaro Consulting, 687 Main Street, Norwell, MA, dated May 17, 2018 (1 Sheet) and an architectural plan set, entitled Revised HHDC Application,” including first floor and elevation plans, prepared by HC Design, 146 Front Street, Scituate, MA, dated June 14, 2018 (2 Drawings)
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS:
This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the application of Gregory T. and Lisa T. Donoghue (collectively, the "Applicant") for a Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”) and such other relief as necessary to replace an existing detached garage located 4.4’ from the side property line with an attached garage located 5.2’ from the side property line where a 15’ side yard setback is required at 45 Middle Street in Residence District A.
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on July 24, 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 Mario Romania, Jr. The Applicant appeared to represent the application to the Board. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested relief subject to conditions contained herein.
Throughout its deliberations, the Board has been mindful of the statements of the Applicant, their Agent, and the comments of the general public, all as made or received at the public hearing.
BACKGROUND and DISCUSSION
The subject property consists of approximately 17,443 SF of land located on the western side of Middle Street. The lot has an irregular shape, with the northern side property line being significantly shorter than the southern (129’ vs. 237’). The property is improved by a single-family dwelling built in 1885 which is positioned parallel to the angled front property line. A detached, single-car garage is located to the immediate south of the dwelling and within the side yard setback.
The proposed plan calls for demolition of the existing detached garage and construction of an attached, two-car garage. The nonconforming side yard setback associated with the existing garage would be modestly improved under post-construction conditions from the present 4.4’ to 5.2’. The attached garage would be 20’-wide and 24’-deep; however, the resulting incursion would be triangular in shape due to the angled positon of the dwelling in relation to the side lot lines. The total area of the incursion would be roughly 120 SF.
The submitted application indicates that a conforming location would require a significant extension to the existing driveway in order to access the rear of the house. This is also where the existing wastewater disposal system is located.
During the hearing, the Board received a letter of support from an abutter to the Property.
Based upon the information submitted and received at the hearing, and the deliberations and discussions of the Board members during the meeting, the Board has determined that:
1. Circumstances related to soil, shape, or topography especially affect the land or structures in question: The property is unusual in shape with the northerly side property line being significantly shorter than the southerly (129’ vs. 237’). The property is improved by a single-family dwelling built in 1885, which is positioned parallel to the angled front property line, as well as an undersized, detached garage, which is located 4.2’ from the southern side property line. 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 property lines present challenges 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 allowed single family uses 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. 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. While improving the function of the garage, the proposed construction will also modestly improve upon the existing side yard setback associated with the current detached garage. 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 Mario Romania, Jr., the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested Variance from § IV-A of the By-Law and such other relief as necessary to replace an existing detached garage located 4.4’ from the side property line with an attached garage located 5.2’ from the side property line where a 15’ side yard setback is required at 45 Middle Street in Residence District A, subject to the following condition:
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.
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, Chair
August 15, 2018