Create an Account - Increase your productivity, customize your experience, and engage in information you care about.
View Other Items in this Archive |
View All Archives | Printable Version
TOWN OF HINGHAMBoard of AppealsNOTICE OF DECISION SPECIAL PERMITIN THE MATTER OF:Applicant/Owner: Hersey Street 158-160, LLC 150 Hersey Street Hingham, MA 02043Property: 158-160 Hersey Street, Hingham, MA 02043Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 46358, Page 334Plan References: Existing conditions plan entitled, “Plan of Land in Hingham, Mass,” prepared by Lewis W. Perkins, dated December 2, 1946 (1 Sheet)Site plan entitled, “Site Plan, 158-160 Hersey Street, Hingham, MA,” unstamped, dated May 21, 2019 (1 Sheet) Architectural plan entitled, "Hersey Street 158-160, LLC, Proposed Two-Family Dwelling," prepared by Alan Kearney Architects, 222 North Street, Hingham, MA, dated March 28, 2019 (6 Drawings) SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS:This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the application of Hersey Street 158-160, LLC (the “Applicant”) for (a) a Special Permit A2 under § III-I, 1.D.(iii)b. of the Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”) to establish a conforming use of a discontinued or abandoned nonconforming structure as a single-family dwelling and (b) a Special Permit A1 under § III-A, 1.2 of the By-Law to then alter and convert the single-family dwelling to accommodate two families at 158-160 Hersey Street in Residence District A. As required under § I-I, 2.b. of the By-Law, the Applicant simultaneously filed an application with the Planning Board for Site Plan Approval in connection with the Special Permit A2. During its meeting of May 6, 2019, the Planning Board determined that that the project constitutes a minor site plan and voted to waive the public hearing requirement and site plan review. A public hearing was duly noticed and held by the Board on May 21, 2019 at Hingham Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The Board panel consisted of its regular member Robyn S. Maguire, Chair, and associate members Mario Romania, Jr. and Michael Mercurio. The Applicant appeared to present the application along with Bruce A. Issadore, Esq. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested special permits to both establish a conforming use of the existing structure and then convert the single family to accommodate two families at 158-160 Hersey Street. 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.BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION:The subject property consists of 9,905 Sf of land located on the east side of Hersey Street north of its intersection with Butler Road. The lot is nonconforming with respect to lot size, lot shape, and frontage. An existing dwelling structure, which was previously used as a two-family, additionally maintains a nonconforming front yard setback. The current owner represented to municipal officials, including both the Building Commissioner and the Zoning Administrator, that the existing dwelling has been unoccupied for approximately 14 years. The building has only been used for storage in connection with the renovation of the adjoining Hersey Farm. Section III-I, 1.E(iii) of the By-Law provides that a “nonconforming building or structure shall be deemed “abandoned” when it is no longer occupied for a conforming or lawfully nonconforming use for at least six consecutive months…” Storage is not a conforming principal use within residential zoning districts; therefore, the nonconforming structure qualifies as abandoned. The applicant would like to reestablish use of the property and the existing dwelling. The plans submitted in support of the applications propose interior reconfiguration of the dwelling and an addition to its rear, so that the dwelling could accommodate two-families in a manner consistent with its historic use. Section III-I, 1.D.(iii)b. allows, upon the issuance of a Special Permit A2, the conforming use of a building that would be a lawful nonconforming building or structure if it had not been deemed abandoned. Conforming uses in Residence District A include single-family dwellings (by right) and two-family dwellings (by Special Permit A1). More specifically, Section III-A, 1.2 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 accommodate not more than two families. According to the Assessor records, the existing dwelling was constructed in 1800 and consists of ten rooms, including five bedrooms. The application narrative suggests that the structure may date to the 1700s and include twelve rooms. In either case, the Board determined that these details satisfy both the date-based and size eligibility criteria for conversion. Section III-A, 1.2 also requires the converted structure to maintain the appearance of a single-family dwelling. The design of the proposed addition is consistent both with the existing cape-style home and the neighborhood. The height of the addition is approximately 2’ greater than the original portion of the building to remain, but at 19.5’, it is significantly lower than the 35’ maximum permitted in Residence A. The overall massing of the resulting structure is also consistent with that of a traditional single-family dwelling. The Board acknowledged during the hearing that the existing structure, however, does have two front doors. While this design would not routinely be considered by the Board to be consistent with the design criteria under Section III-A, 1.2, members agreed that in the present case it would be appropriate since the structure has historically been arranged in that manner. The project will also require submission of an application to the Historical Commission under the Demolition Delay Bylaw. As noted in the Procedural History, the Planning Board previously voted to waive Site Plan Review in connection with the Special Permit A2 application. The Board of Health also previously permitted, and the applicant installed, a 6-bedroom septic system to support the reestablished use of the property. Finally, during the hearing, the Board received written letters of support and favorable testimony from a number of abutters and other residents from the area. FINDINGS: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 reestablishment of a two-family use of the property is in harmony with the general purposes and intent of the By-Law as it will conserve the value of the existing building. There will be no effect on public health, safety, or welfare.2. The proposed use complies with the purposes and standards of the relevant sections of the By-Law. The property and structure thereon are dimensionally nonconforming with respect to lot area, frontage, shape, and front yard setback. The By-Law allows, upon the issuance of a Special Permit A2, the conforming use of a building or structure that would lawfully nonconforming if it had not been deemed abandoned. Conforming uses in Residence District A include single-family dwellings (by right) and two-family dwellings (by Special Permit A1).The existing dwelling was constructed prior to 1941 and consists of more than six rooms, exclusive of halls and bathrooms, as required by Section III-A, 1.2. The proposed addition to the rear of the existing dwelling will comply with all existing setback requirements and will not alter the character of the overall 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 overall massing and design of a single-family, consistent with the existing Cape-style dwelling and the neighborhood. 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 reestablished use of the property as a two-family dwelling. Location of an allowed use within the historic structure will result in positive impacts. 5. There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians. A driveway will provide compliant 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. A new onsite wastewater disposal system was recently installed on the property and adequate facilities exist for onsite parking. 7. The proposal meets accepted design standards and criteria for the functional design of facilities, structures, stormwater management, and site construction. The project calls for a modest addition to an existing structure. The proposal meets applicable design standards. DECISION:Upon a motion made by Mario Romania, Jr. and seconded by Michael Mercurio, the Board voted unanimously to GRANT (a) a Special Permit A2 under § III-I, 1.D.(iii)b. of the By-Law to establish a conforming use of a discontinued or abandoned nonconforming structure as a single-family dwelling and (b) a Special Permit A1 under § III-A, 1.2 of the By-Law to then alter and convert the single-family dwelling to accommodate two families at 158-160 Hersey Street in Residence District A, subject to the following conditions:1. The work shall be completed in accordance with the approved plans and representations made to the Board during the public hearing. 2. Prior to application for a building permit, the Applicant shall file with the Zoning Administrator a surveyed site plan depicting proposed conditions in order to verify that the rear addition complies with all applicable setback requirements. 3. Any changes to the design of the structure in terms of footprint, massing, or height shall be filed with the Zoning Administrator for a determination of significance. Significant changes shall require modification of this Special Permit Decision. Alteration of the interior floor plans shall not require modification. 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, 2019