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Board of Appeals

Notice of Decision



Applicant/Owner:                              Nancy Ferris Williams and Andrew Williams

                                                            77 Leavitt Street

                                                            Hingham, MA  02043

Agent:                                                 HC Design Inc. 

                                                            C/O Heidi Condon

                                                            146 Front Street, Suite 107 

                                                            Scituate, MA 02066

Subject Property:                               77 Leavitt Street, Hingham, MA 02043                                                          

Deed Reference:                                 Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 41889, Page 75

Plan Reference:                                  Site Plan entitled: “Plot Plan of Land, 77 Leavitt Street, Hingham, Massachusetts,” prepared by Perkins Engineering, Inc., 1287 Washington Street,                                                                    Weymouth, MA, dated January 8, 2021 (1 Sheet) and architectural drawings entitled: “Williams Residence, 77 Leavitt Street, Hingham, MA,” prepared                                                                by HC Design, 146 Front Street, Suite 211, Scituate, MA, dated February 8, 2021 (6 Drawings)


This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the application of Nancy and Andrew Williams (collectively, the “Applicant”) for a Finding under MGL c. 40A, s. 6 and § III-I, 1.B of the Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”) to construct an addition to an existing nonconforming detached garage where the proposed addition is to be used as a pool house at 77 Leavitt Street in Residence District A.  

The Board heard the application at a duly advertised and noticed public hearing on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 during  a meeting held via Zoom as an alternate means of public access pursuant to an Order issued by the Governor of Massachusetts, dated March 12, 2020, Suspending Certain Provisions of the Open Meeting Law. The Board of Appeals panel consisted of its regular members Robyn S. Maguire, Chairman, and Paul K. Healey, along with associate member Joseph Ruccio.  Heidi Condon, HC Design, Inc., represented the Applicant.  At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board granted the requested Finding.

Throughout the hearing, 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 17,692 SF of land located on the south side of Leavitt Street. The lot is improved by a single-family dwelling and detached garage. The garage is nonconforming with respect to its (west) side yard setback since it is located just 11.7’ from the property line. The proposed plan calls for an addition to the rear of the existing garage. The addition itself would comply with all dimensional requirements. 

The applicant requests a Finding from the Board in order to permit the extension. The protections of M.G.L. c. 40A, § 6, first paragraph, states in part that: 

            ... a zoning ordinance or by-law...shall apply to any change or substantial extension of such use, to a building or special permit issued after the first notice of said public hearing, to                  any reconstruction, extension or structural change of such structure and to any alteration of a structure ... to provide for its use for a substantially different purpose or for the same                  purpose in a substantially different manner... Pre-existing nonconforming structures or uses may be extended or altered, provided, that no such extension or alteration shall be                        permitted unless there is a finding by the permit granting authority . . . that such change, extension or alteration shall not be substantially more detrimental than the existing                              nonconforming use to the neighborhood. 

When read together, these portions of the statue provide that changes to nonconforming structures may be permitted if (1) the extensions or changes themselves comply with the by-law and (2) the structures as extended or changed are found to be not substantially more detrimental to the neighborhood than the preexisting nonconforming structure. 

The proposed plan shows that there would be no increase in the extent of the nonconforming structure resulting from the project. The portion of the existing detached garage located within the side yard setback will remain as it presently exists. The proposed new construction will conform to the dimensional requirements of the Zoning By-Law. The  Board determined that the proposed extension to the preexisting nonconforming garage would not adversely impact or be a detriment to the neighborhood.

Findings and decision:

Upon a motion made by Paul K. Healey and seconded by Joseph Ruccio, the Board voted unanimously to find that the proposed extension and alteration to the pre-existing nonconforming accessory structure will not be substantially more detrimental than the existing nonconforming use to the neighborhood and to GRANT the requested Finding pursuant to M.G.L. c. 40A, § 6 in connection with the proposed expansion of the existing nonconforming garage located at 77 Leavitt Street in Residence District A, provided that the Applicant proceeds in accordance with the plans and representations as presented to the Board.

     For the Board of Appeals,


                Robyn S. Maguire, Chair

                May 26, 2021