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Minutes January 23, 2012
Regular Meeting
Planning Board Agenda for Monday, January 23, 2012

7:00 PM          Site Plan Review-Hingham Middle School (Joint with Board of Health and Conservation Commission) 

8:00 PM          Continuation of Zoning Hearings

ARTICLE C AND D:  To Allow Electronic and Off-Premise Message Signs in the South Hingham Development Overlay District 

                        ARTICLE E: Regulations for Donation Collection Containers 

Old/New Business 

Minutes of January 9, 2012


Present: Planning Board Members, Sarah Corey, Judy Sneath, Paul Healey, Gary Tondorf-Dick,

Bill Ramsey and alternate Jim Costello.  Also present was Community Planning Director Katy Lacy.

7:00 PM          Site Plan Review-Hingham Middle School (Joint with Board of Health and Conservation Commission) 

This was a joint hearing with the Board of Health Conservation Commission and Planning Board, to review the proposed plans for the new Hingham Middle School.  The hearing was televised by Hingham Cable, and minutes for the entire presentation were taken by a paid transcription service, and will be incorporated into this record when complete as Attachment 1.

Representatives of the School Building Committee and their consultants presented building and site plans. Carolyn Nielsen Chairman of the Hingham Conservation Commission served as the general moderator.  Paul Brogna, Seacoast Engineering, is serving as the peer review engineer for the Town; he was not present at the hearing but had provided a brief project review letter dated January 23, 2011.

At the end of the presentation Ms. Corey noted that the Planning Board’s hearing would be continued on February 6.   She stated that the Planning Board’s scope of review is more tightly limited than the other two boards because of the restrictions set forth by the Dover amendment, which states that: 

 “No zoning ordinance or by-law shall regulate or restrict the interior area of a single family residential building nor shall any such ordinance or by-law prohibit, regulate or restrict the use of land or structures for religious purposes or for educational purposes on land owned or leased by the commonwealth or any of its agencies, subdivisions or bodies politic or by a religious sect or denomination, or by a nonprofit educational corporation; provided, however, that such land or structures may be subject to reasonable regulations concerning the bulk and height of structures and determining yard sizes, lot area, setbacks, open space, parking and building coverage requirements”. 

Ms. Corey went on to ask that the applicant provide the following material prior to the next hearing: 

1.      Snow storage plan

2.      Lighting Plan (applicant noted that this was already included)

3.      Stormwater Pollution prevention Plan (if Con Com requires it at this stage)

4.      Completed Construction Phasing and Demolition Plan

8:00 PM          Continuation of Zoning Hearings

Board members were joined by Advisory Committee liaisons Dick Innis, Linda Kutsch and Greg MacCune.

ARTICLE C AND D:  To Allow Electronic/Off-Premise Message Signs in the Industrial Park District

Bob Frasier and Carolyn Kennedy of WS Development and Attorney Robert Devin came before the Board to present these two petition articles intended to allow electronic messaging Digital Smart Screens” with a Special Permit A2 in the Industrial Park District and, specifically at the Derby Street Shoppes.

Attorney Devin explained that Article C would simply add new definitions to the Sign By-Law (Section V-B 2) for the terms “Changeable Signs”, “Electronic Screen Sign Effects”, “Electronic Message Signs”, and “Off Premise Sign Message”.  Article D would further modify Section V-B (2) by adding to the Schedule of Sign Regulations a new category for signs permitted in the Industrial Park and South Hingham Overlay District that would include “Electronic Message Signs”   (120’ square foot max. area, 12’ high above the ground, 10’ setback from all property boundaries, and a maximum of 6 signs in total allowed  per property) and “Off Premise Signs” (120’ square foot max. area, 12’ high above the ground, 10’ setback from all property boundaries, and a maximum of 5 signs in total allowed  per property). The signs would be located on kiosk-type structures, and would replace the current directories.

Board members watched a Power Point Presentation, including a short animated segment showing exactly how the signs would look and sound.

Board members expressed concern that the signs would cause a distraction for passing pedestrians and motorists. They also noted that would create an unfair advantage to allow such signs in the Industrial park District and not in other commercial areas in Town.

It was moved, seconded and SO VOTED to make a recommendation of NO ACTION at the upcoming Town meeting relative to these two articles.

David Carmack and Johnny Blanton from Planet Aid came before the Board to present this petition article. He started with a general explanation of the company’s mission, and went on to describe where they currently provide service throughout Massachusetts. He noted that they have only recently started placing boxes in Hingham, but was soon notified by the Building Commissioner that such boxes are not currently permitted by the Hingham Zoning By-Law. They subsequently removed their boxes, and submitted this article as a way to legitimize the placement of such boxes in such a way as to ensure proper regulation and maintenance.

Ms. Lacy explained that this article would allow “Donation Collection Containers” with a Special Permit A2 from the ZBA with Site Plan Review by the Planning Board in the Industrial Park, Industrial, Limited Industrial Park and Business B Districts.  This would mean that a properly noticed Special Permit hearing (and associated fees of at least $500) would be required for each new application to place one of these boxes. The By-law itself does not include much information by way of guidelines, because the way it is written guidelines would be promulgated by the Building Commissioner only IF the By-Law amendment were adopted.

 Concerns raised by Board Members, Ms. Lacy and members of the public present at the hearing included  1) the additional time and effort that this would require for the Building Commissioner (permitting and enforcement) 2) the unsightliness of such boxes, particular within a residential setting; 3) potential “competition” with the fundraising efforts associated with collection boxes at churches and schools and 4) potential competition for the Solid Waste Management Committee’s efforts to get fabric recycled at the Town landfill, where they get $100/ton towards the Town’s coffers.  Despite these concerns Board members expressed interest in figuring out a way to make it possible for this kind of privately operated clothes donation to continue in Hingham if properly regulated. Ms. Corey asked the applicants if they were aware that the application fee for the Special Permit could actually cost more than the revenue generated by the collected material. Mr. Carmack noted that he had only recently started working in his current position, and that he was not aware that, as currently written, the permitting process would be fairly complex, and the fee would be so high. Board members discussed the possibility of introducing a general warrant article that would allow the Building Commissioner to issue an annual permit for such containers, similar to a model ordinance provided by the Applicant from Worcester. At the close of the hearing Bill Ramsey made a motion to provide a recommendation of NO ACTION at Town Meeting. The Applicants agreed, instead, to withdraw the article, and continue to work with Town Hall staff on developing some less labor intensive permitting process.

Old/New Business 

1) Minutes

It was voted to approve the minutes of January 9, 2012

2) Waiver for South Shore Sports Center 

The South Shore Sports Center requested a waiver from the requirement for Site Plan Review for a project involving the replacement of the indoor bleachers, and the creation of loading access to the second floor. In accordance with Section I-I (5) of the Hingham Zoning By-law it was moved, seconded and SO VOTED to waive the requirement for Site Plan Review for this project.

3) Viking Lane Extension

At a regularly posted Planning Board Meeting on November 14, 2011 Board members reviewed a request from Developer Bill Murphy for an extension to the time to complete the Viking Lane Subdivision. At that meeting Board members requested that the Town’s peer review engineer Nick Lanney perform a condition assessment of Viking Lane to better inform their decision as to whether to extend the time of completion or not. Mr. Lanney has performed this assessment, which determines that the roadway is in passable condition, but identifies several action items that must be undertaken as soon as possible to protect the structural integrity of the roadway

Ms. Lacy explained that Mr. Murphy would be Florida until April.  Board members voted to notify Mr. Murphy that the extension would be granted at such time that all recommendations put forth in Mr. Lanney’s letter were implemented.

4) Response to Government Study Committee Meeting of January 3, 2012

Board members reviewed a letter written collectively by Board members to the GSC expressing concern about the tenor of the meeting.  It was voted by a 4-1 majority to send the letter to the GSC, with copies to the Moderator and Selectmen.

Meeting adjourned at 10:30 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

Katy Lacy, Community Planning Director

Combined meeting including: 

Conservation Commission, Planning Board and Board of Health 

January 23, 2012 Central Meeting Room North


Present:  Conservation Commission: Carolyn Nielsen-Chairman, Charles Berry-Vice-Chair, Nina Villanova, Daniel Coughlin, Scott McIsaac, and Cliff Prentiss-Conservation Officer 

Board of Health:  Peter Bickford-Chair, Stephen White-Member, Kirk Shilts, D.C.-Member, Bruce Capman, R.S., Executive Health Officer

Planning Board:  Sarah Corey–Chairman, Judy Sneath–Clerk, Paul Healey, Gary-Tondorf-Dick, Bill Ramsey

1.      1103 Main Street – Hingham Middle School – No DEP number or comments as of 1/12/12.   Applicant:  Dorothy Galo – Hingham Public Schools / Representative:  Andrew Chagnon-Pare Corporation

Carolyn Nielsen, Sarah Corey and Peter Bickford, Chairs of Conservation, Planning and Board of Health respectively, gave an overview of the role and focus, their specific board or commission will have, in the review and permitting process of this proposed project.  Separate permitting meetings with all three boards will need to be scheduled. 

Presentation:  Mr. Raymond Estes, Chairman of the School Building Committee, opened the presentation with an introduction of members of the project team:  James Jordan from Ai3 Architects will review the overview of the building plans, Andrew Chagnon and Cari Orsi from Pare Corp will provide details of site development, civil engineering and construction phasing plans.  Kris Bradner from Birchwood Design Group, will discuss landscape architecture design.  Don Martinage, Martinage Engineering Associates (MEA), will summarize plans for the intended septic upgrades and overall waste water treatment plans of the project. 

Mr. Jordan, the project architect, provided an overview of the building plans.  The location of the existing building, the 1996 addition and the small modular 5 classroom addition were noted on the plans.  The proposed addition was highlighted on the plans and will include single, double and triple story additions.  The addition will be located to the south of the existing building and the areas that will be two- story will be approximately 29.6’.  The “L” shaped portion, (depicted by dark tan on the plans), will be three stories and approximately 43.6’ in height.  The building has an internal courtyard allowing natural light to the classroom around its perimeter.  Overall, the building is approximately 535’ long, 235’ wide and 176,385 square feet.  The building is set back from Main Street approximately 750’. 

SETBACKS:  The setback from the front yard is approximately 402’ and approximately a 600’ setback from the north property line and a 626’ setback from the northwest corner of the building to the rear property line and 16’ setback to the closest point of the building to the south property line.  Mr. Jordan advised that the setbacks were identified in the geotech report.  The circulation development areas were shown on the plans and include two parking areas and the continuation of Rosemary lane into the site. 

LIGHTING:  All circulation areas will be site lighted with the exception of the existing tennis courts which will not be site lighted.  That information was also provided in the documentation provided at the beginning of January and includes a site lighted plan with a photometric study of all the site lighting with location.

Building mounted lights, (SL3 on the plans), will be approximately 12.6” above finished grade and will be placed along the south, west and north edge of the site.  The existing tree line is close the building in those areas and they wanted to provide adequate lighting for police and safety.  The other 39 proposed fixtures are LED lights mounted on 16’ poles.  If they used 12’ poles they would need to increase the number of lights.  Using 16’ poles will still allow them to be sensitive to the abutters to the north and on Rosemary Lane. 

GRADE:  The grades on the site, at the intersection of Rosemary Lane and Main Street, have been identified as 126’ grade height.  Coming down Rosemary Lane the grade height increases by approximately 4’ until you reach the south parking lot which is average grade.  At the midpoint of the north parking lot it increases 1’ bring it to 131’.  The building, which is a slab on grade for the entire first floor, is 132’.  All areas of the site, including the fields are handicapped accessible.  The grade increases as you go north of the building heading towards the north property line.  A small retaining wall will elevate the grade plane of the fields on the southern half to 137.5’ at its middle point and will increase to 141’ at the north section of the field.  The field will terrace down. 

GREEN ASPECTS:  Several green aspects were discussed.  Mr. Jordan advised that they designed the project to meet LEAD, silver certification, (Leadership and Energy Environmental Design).  To receive certification the project needs to earmark between 50 and 59 points on the LEAD scorecard out of a possible 110.  Receiving a silver certification is the second highest certification and the state targets that as a goal to receive 2% more reimbursement points.  That will result in approximately $1.5 million dollars for Hingham.  One of the features is to provide a rainwater collection system.  Roof runoff will be collected and piped to an underground storage tank located under the new entry drive.  The rainwater collected will help to flush toilets and urinals for the school and will save the school over 30% power and water usage.  Another feature is to design the addition with a light color roof to help control climate inside the building and reduce energy costs.  They are also providing accommodations for the infrastructure on the gymnasium roof in the future. 

Approximately 75% of construction waste will be recycled or sent to salvage facilities through the general contractor.  In addition 10% of all building materials will be regional and thus be manufactured and delivered within 500 miles of the building site.  Approximately 20% of the material will have a recycled content. 

SCHEDULE:  The enhanced acoustical performance values will be forthcoming in the acoustical engineering report within the next couple of weeks.  The completed construction documents are scheduled to be done by the end of March.  They will be sending the project out to bid the first or second week of April and 5 weeks from that they will have the XXX bid results.  At about 7-8 weeks from bidding they expect to receive the general contractor bids and are hopeful they can sign the general contractor to begin the 1st or 2nd week in June.   May 16, 2014 is the date set for completion and from May – Aug they will furnish the building and the building will be ready for occupancy by students and staff fall 2014.  The contractors at this point will be isolated to the upper portion of the site with site related tasks with the fields and the waste water treatment building during the spring and summer of 2015.

ENVIRONMENT REVIEW:  Mr. Chagnon, Pare Corporation, went into further detail regarding the site which is a little over 31 acres.  Of the 31 acres there are approximately 4.9 acres of wetlands.  There are approximately 4.5 acres in a river front area.  There are approximately 6 acres of impervious material including parking area, the access drive and the bus loop.  Currently there are 131 parking spaces and on site wastewater treatment plant.  The 200’, 100’ and 50’ buffer zones were shown on the plans. There is a potential vernal pool adjacent to the entry driveway.  The town of Hingham had Coler & Colantonio do a survey of the site and their submitted and approved wetland lines have been used on the current plans.  There was a traffic study done and there were flow tests prior to starting any design.  A rendering was shown.  They are maintaining the existing access but plan to reconstruct that access. They will not be changing the limits of it.  The number of parking spaces will increase from 131 to 197.  Buses will travel in and circle around the front of the building.  The new bus and parent drop off was shown.  After meeting with the fire department a 10’ hard surface access, around the whole building, as well as some grassy area is proposed.  The tennis courts will be reconstructed in the same location they are now. 

There is some proposed clearing proposed on the north side of the site.  Mr. Chagnon advised that abutters were contacted and some lower buffer plantings are proposed to help with the visual impact.  The plantings proposed along the wetlands and the vernal pool are intended to restore that area to a natural state.

They are proposing 15.47 acres of disturbance on the site.  The amount of impervious material will be an increase of approximately 3% from 6.1 to 6.4 acres.  The disturbance within the 100’ buffer zone is approximately 83,000 square feet of disturbance within the 100’ buffer zone.  Approximately 36,000 square feet of disturbance within the river front area.  Only 3,955 square feet of that was previously undisturbed.   There are 22,560 square feet of restoration within the river front area and, 5,708 square feet of restoration associated with the vernal pool.

UTILITIES:  The plan includes new underground gas and electric service.  Based on the water flow test, plans include updating the current 6” water line to an 8” line from the roadway.  There will also be a fire pump within the building.  Waste water treatment will remain in the same area with some updates.

SEPTIC:  Don Martinage, advised the compliance reports showed that they need to enlarge the 6,000 gallon septic tank.  They will add a flow surcharge tank to control the peak area of flow.  The treatment plant, as it is now, has difficulty meeting the 30/30.5 permit, (30 BOD, 30 GSS and 25 GTN), requirements all at the same time.  They will increase the underground treatment to make the necessary modifications.  The leaching field will be the same.  The footprint will move about 15’ from where it is now.

DRAINAGE:  Mr. Chagnon advised they will be collecting the majority of the storm water runoff.  The roof runoff will go into a rainwater reuse system.  When that is full is will overflow into a drainage system located under the main parking lot.  The field drainage will be collected in a combination of swales.  There is an area of the site, a portion of the parking lot and roadway that will not be collected.  That will overland flow into a swale and some rain gardens constructed in these areas.  There is also a rain garden by the bus drop off.

CONSTRUCTION PHASING:  Requirements will be in the packet for the contractor and they will need to comply with the schedule. 

Phase 1:  June 2012 – June 2014 the portion of the site that will be turned over at this time was shown on the plans.  In addition, there are sub phases that will happen over the first summer.  They will maintain 19 parking spaces for use over the summer.  Utilities will be brought in via the access road.  Temporary parking at the tennis courts will be constructed and a force main around the back of the school prior to school opening after that first summer.  The areas that will be turned back over to the school fall 2012 was shown on the plans including where the buses will pick up and let off. 

Phase 2a: Summer 2014 the contractor will still be working on a portion of the site with final construction on the roadway.  There is a sub-phase; based on the proximity of the building small portion that will not be open for September but will be open during the fall. 

Phase 2b:  August 2014 the school will be open.  Temporarily the buses will use the parents drop off and the parents will utilize the parking at the tennis courts.  During the time between August and November another portion of the project, as shown on the plans by Mr. Chagnon, will be opened up for use by the school.  This will also be the time when demolition will begin.  From Nov 2014 through the spring of 2015 additional areas will be turned over and the demolition will be completed.  They will construct the adjacent parking and reconstruct the parking at the tennis courts. Spring to early summer 2015 the site is completely finished. 

The chair opened the discussion to the public.  Mr. Bickford, as a citizen, asked to hear more about the water treatment tank.  Mr. Jordan, in response advised that the plans are for a 25 – 30K gallon tank resting on a concrete slab under the ground.  He advised that the tank is plastic.  Mr. Chagnon added that there is an infrared system so the water doesn’t go stagnant.  The drainage system was designed as if the tank wasn’t even there.  Mr. Jordan added that they have recently been dying the water blue so they will know if they have tapped into recycled water. 

Mr. Chagnon provided some additional information regarding the utilities on the site, including:

·         A water line that loops around the building.

·         Coordination with the fire department regarding the location of fire hydrants.

·         A grease trap associated with the kitchen. 

·         Preliminary coordination regarding the Board of Health.  The site currently has some variances and they know they will have some variances for the project.  Specifically, the sewer and drainage will be closer than 100’. 

·         Runoff from the fields will be collected via swales and then go into a storage system and ultimately discharging at the back of the site.  The rest of the site uses catch basins. 

·         The infiltration system was highlighted on the plans.  It infiltrates part of the storm water, the rest overland flows and comes out the existing drive to Main Street. 

Kris Bradner, landscape architect, advised that as you enter the site they will be using a combination of shade and flowering trees.  They will be using native species and some cultivated of native species in most of the areas around the developed areas of the site.  The upper portion of the site will include native evergreens.  The rain gardens will have seed mixes that can be mowed once a year once established.  Closer to the woodlands edge and the wetlands variety of shrubs and trees and a restoration seed mix that can also be mowed once a year and the intent is to go back to its natural state.  In the courtyard they will use plants to develop it as a low maintenance feature.   

Hearing no other questions from the public, the Chair closed the public portion of the informal meeting.

Sarah Corey, Chair of the planning board, advised that they will need to receive any documentation, prior to the next meeting and preferably the Wednesday before the 2/6 meeting.  If not received by that date they next meeting will be held on 2/13.