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TOWN OF HINGHAM
Board of Appeals
NOTICE OF DECISION
IN THE MATTER OF:
Applicant/Owner: John S. and Daniele L. Serafini
197 Main Street
Hingham, MA 02043
Premises: 197 Main Street, Hingham, MA 02043
Deed Reference: Certificate of Title No. 122864 issued by the Plymouth County Registry District of the Land Court
Plan References: Site plan entitled, "Existing and Proposed Conditions Plan," prepared by Nantasket Survey Engineering, LLC, 46 Edgewater Road, Hull, MA, dated October 7, 2016 and an architectural plan set, including a proposed floor and elevation plans, prepared by Roger O. Hoit, AIA, Architect, 1175 Main Street, Hingham, MA, dated September 15, 2016, Drawings A1 - A4
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS
This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the application of John S. and Daniele L. Serafini (collectively, the “Applicant”) for a Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law (the "By-Law") and other such relief as necessary to construct a two car garage resulting in a 6.5’ side yard setback where 15’ is required at 197 Main Street in Residence District A.
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on July 23, 2019 at the 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 and project architect, Roger Hoit, appeared to present the application. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested relief from the side yard setback requirement under § IV-A of the By-Law, subject to the 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 17,851 SF of land located at the corner of Main Street and Home Meadows Lane. The lot is affected by varying grades, rising from a low of el. 16 in the front (northeast) corner to a high of el. 26 in the rear (southwest) corner of the property. An 18' high concrete retaining wall is located between these two corners and along the westerly side property line. Additionally, the lot has an irregular shape with a width of 136 linear feet along Main Street and 103 linear feet at the opposite rear property line.
The property is improved by a single family dwelling (ca. 1817). The onsite wastewater disposal system is located to the south of the residence where suitable soils exist. The proposed plan calls for construction of a 25'x24' detached carriage house/garage located adjacent to the dwelling and partially within the westerly side yard setback. The resulting side yard setback would be a minimum of 6.5' at the back corner of the structure; however, the incursion improves and is eliminated all together as the lot width increases toward the front of the garage.
The Applicant represented to the Board that the second floor of the proposed accessory structure would be used as a playroom and include a half bathroom. During the hearing, an abutter to the property expressed support for the project, noting that it would improve access to and egress from the street.
The present application is made because the Applicant failed to act prior to expiration of relief granted by the Board in November 2016 for an identical request. As the property is also located in the Pear Tree Hill Local Historic District, the proposed carriage house required approval from the Local Historic Districts Commission. The Commission issued a Certificate of Appropriateness approving the proposed project in October 2016.
Based upon the information submitted and received at the hearing, the Board has determined that:
1. There are circumstances relating to soil conditions, shape or topography especially affecting the land but not affecting generally the zoning district. The lot is affected by varying grades, rising from a low of el. 16 in the front (northeast) corner to a high of el. 26 in the rear (southwest) corner of the property. An 18' high concrete retaining wall is located between these two corners and along the westerly side property line. The onsite wastewater disposal system occupies the southeasterly portion of the yard. Additionally, the lot has an irregular shape with a width of 136 linear feet along Main Street and 103 linear feet at the opposite rear property line. These circumstances in combination especially affect the lot and not generally the zoning district.
2. The literal enforcement of the Bylaws would involve substantial hardship financial or otherwise. Physical, regulatory, and financial barriers exist based on these circumstances that preclude alternative location of a garage, which is a common improvement in the neighborhood. Literal enforcement of the By-Law would limit the Applicant from improving the Property in a manner consistent with others in the neighborhood and negatively affect the overall use and enjoyment of the Property.
3. A variance may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good. The proposed project will improve the appearance of the dwelling in a manner consistent with others in the neighborhood. There will be no adverse impacts on the neighborhood and no harm to the public good resulting from the proposed improvements.
4. A variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purposes of the Bylaw. The requested relief is modest in nature, resulting in a triangular-shaped incursion into the side yard setback. A grant of a Variance in this instance will allow for a reasonable use that is consistent with a single family use in the Residence A Zoning District.
Upon a motion made by Mario Romania, Jr. and seconded by Michael Mercurio, the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested Variance from § IV-A of the By-Law to construct a 25'x24' accessory structure located a minimum of 6.5' from the side property line where 15' is required at 197 Main 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.
This decision shall not take effect until a copy of the decision bearing the certification of the Town Clerk, that twenty (20) days have elapsed since the decision has been filed in the office of the Town Clerk and no appeal has been filed, or that if such appeal has been filed, that it has been dismissed or denied, is recorded with the Plymouth Registry of Deeds and/or the Plymouth County Land Court Registry, and indexed in the grantor index under the name of the record owner or is recorded and noted on the owner’s certificate of title.
For the Board of Appeals,
Robyn S. Maguire
September 13, 2019