View Other Items in this Archive | View All Archives | Printable Version

Board of Appeals




Owner/Applicant: Bradford Staples

Premises: 7 Whiton Avenue
Hingham, MA 02043

Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Book 33005, Page 73

Plan Reference: Site plan entitled, "Proposed Driveway Configuration, 7 Whiton Avenue, Hingham, MA," unstamped, dated April 4, 2014 and specifications for a traditional gambrel shed from Reeds Ferry Sheds.


This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the application from Bradford Staples (the "Applicant") for a Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law (the "By-Law") and such other relief as necessary to construct a 14' x 24' shed resulting in a 5.9' side yard setback where 15' is required at 7 Whiton Avenue in Residence District A.

A public hearing was duly noticed and held on May 13, 2015, at the Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The Board panel consisted of its regular members W. Tod McGrath, Chairman, Joseph M. Fisher and Joseph W. Freeman. The Applicant appeared to present the application. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Variance from the side yard setback requirement under § IV-A of the By-Law.

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 contains approximately 12,576 SF and is trapezoid-shaped (wider in the front than in the rear). The site is improved by a pre-existing nonconforming single family dwelling (ca. 1900). Wetlands exist to the rear and a fair amount of ledge on the southeastern portion of the property. The lot is also located within a FEMA Flood Zone A.

The Board previously issued a variance to locate a significantly larger structure within 4.7' from side property line in June 2012. The approved structure was 23' x 32' in size and included living space above. The Applicant did not act upon the relief and the prior variance is now expired. The Applicant since reduced the scope of the project and now proposes a 14' x 24' gambrel-style shed to be located 5.9' from the side property line.


Based upon the information submitted and received at the hearing, the Board determined that:

a. There are circumstances relating to soil conditions, shape or topography especially affecting the land but not affecting generally the zoning district. The Property is limited by its irregular, trapezoid-like shape. Ledge is present on the southeast portion of the site and wetlands exist on the northeast portion of the lot. More than half of the Property is presently located within FEMA Flood Zone VE (el. 22). These circumstances do not generally affect the surrounding neighborhood or the zoning district.

b. The literal enforcement of the Bylaws would involve substantial hardship financial or otherwise. The requested relief will allow the Applicant to construct a more modestly sized accessory structure than that previously approved by the Board in 2012. Without relief, there would be no practical space to store outdoor equipment. A grant of a Variance in this instance will allow for a reasonable use that is entirely consistent with a single family use in the Residence A Zoning District;

c. 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 project will improve the Property in a manner consistent with many single family residences in the surrounding neighborhood. There will be no adverse effects or harm to the public good; and

d. A variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purposes of the Bylaw. The granting of a dimensional variance in this instance is consistent with the purposes of the By-Law.


Upon a motion made by Joseph W. Freeman and seconded by Joseph M. Fisher, the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested side yard setback, authorizing construction of a 14' x 24' shed and resulting in a 5.9' side yard setback at 7 Whiton Avenue, 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 construction shall be completed in a manner consistent with the plans submitted and representations made during the hearing.

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,

W. Tod McGrath, Chairman
June 1, 2015