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


Board of Appeals



Owner/Applicant: Cabral Family Trust, Sandra A. Cabral, Trustee

Property: 1 Beach Road
Hingham, MA 02043

Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 44436, Page 337

Plan Reference: Plan entitled, "Site Plan of Land in Hingham, Massachusetts," prepared by Webby Engineering Associates, Inc., 180 County Road, Plympton, MA, dated November 1, 2012


This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the application of the Cabral Family Trust (the “Applicant”) for a Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law (the "By-Law") and such other relief as necessary to maintain an A/C unit within the side yard setback resulting in a 2.8' setback where 15’ is required at 1 Beach Road in Residence District A.

A public hearing was duly noticed and held on September 16, 2015 at the Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The Board panel consisted of its regular members Joseph W. Freeman, Acting Chairman, and W. Tod McGrath, and associate member Michael Mercurio. The Applicant, Sandra Cabral, appeared to present the application. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant a Variance from the side yard setback requirements under § IV-A of the By-Law, permitting the Applicant to maintain a A/C unit within the side yard setback.

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 6,675 SF and contains a single-family residence. The lot is narrow in shape at 50' in width and approximately 135' in length. The waterfront property is also located in FEMA Flood Zone VE-14 and contains both riverfront and wetland resource buffer areas.

The owner reconstructed a preexisting nonconforming single-family residence on site in 2012. At the time, an HVAC unit was installed on a concrete pad located 2.8' from the northerly side property line. The pad for sits approximately 2.5' off the ground to minimize risk associated with flooding. The location, however, violates the side yard setback requirement specified in § IV-A of the By-Law. The Applicant filed the variance application in an attempt to remedy the violation. The most directly affected abutters submitted a letter of support for the application and spoke in favor of the requested relief during the public hearing.


Based upon the information submitted and received at the hearing, and the deliberations and discussions of Board members at the meeting, the Board has determined that:

1. Circumstances related to soil, shape, or topography especially affect the land or structure in question: The subject property is limited by its narrow shape and location within FEMA Flood Zone VE-14, riverbank, and wetland resource buffer areas. These limitations, coupled with the placement of the existing structure on the lot, are circumstances that do not more generally affect the zoning district.

2. Owning to these circumstances, literal enforcement of the By-Law would involve substantial hardship: These circumstances result in both physical and regulatory barriers to any by-right location of the mechanical equipment.

3. Relief may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good: The unit has been located within the setback since 2012 without substantial detriment to the public good. The most directly affected abutters support the request for relief.

4. Relief may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purpose of the Zoning By-Law: The granting of a dimensional variance in this instance is consistent with the purposes of the By-Law in that it secures safety from flooding.


Upon a motion made by W. Tod McGrath and seconded by Michael Mercurio, the Board voted unanimously to grant a Variance from § IV-A of the By-Law to maintain an A/C unit within the northerly side yard setback at 1 Beach Road in Residence District A on the condition that the unit is located in accordance with the approved plans 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,

Joseph W. Freeman
October 15, 2015