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TOWN OF HINGHAM
Applicant: South Shore Bank
and its affiliate
Cambridge Mortgage Group
1530 Main Street
South Weymouth, MA 02190
Premises: 99 South Street
Hingham, MA 02334
Map 61, Lot 196
Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 41524, Page 184, and
Plymouth County Land Court Registry Certificate of Title 110616, Book 553, Page 16
Date: June 3, 2013
Plan Reference: Entitled "Parking Plan of Land in Hingham, Massachusetts, 85-99 South Street," dated March 29, 2013 for Shepard Investments, LLC and prepared by Edward T. Eisenhaure.
Summary of Proceedings
This matter came before the Planning Board on the application of South Shore Bank (petitioner), 1530 Main Street, Weymouth, MA for a Special Permit A2 under §III-G 4.b., together with Design Review, if necessary, under §III-G 5., with Site Plan Review to be done by the Planning Board under §I-G and §I-I of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary in order to use a 4,000 sq.ft. portion of the existing building as a location for a “Banking Center” for South Shore Bank and its subsidiary, Cambridge Mortgage Group, to be located at 99 South Street, in Business District A and the Downtown Hingham Overlay District.
The Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals heard the application jointly at a duly advertised and noticed joint hearing on May 15, 2013 at 8:30 PM and was continued and heard by the Planning Board on May 20, 2013 at 7:30 PM in the Hingham Town Hall at 210 Central Street. Members of the Planning Board present at the May 15, 2013 hearing was: Judy Sneath, Chairman; William Ramsey, Clerk; Sarah Corey; and Gary Tondorf-Dick and Members present at the May 20, 2013 hearing were: Judy Sneath, Chairman; William Ramsey, Clerk; Sarah Corey and Jim Costello, Alternate. At the joint hearing held on May 15, 2013, the Board of Appeals panel consisted of its members: Joseph Fisher, Chairman; Tod McGrath, Clerk; and Joe Freeman.
In attendance for Petitioner: Steven McLaughlin, Attorney; Bob Shepard, of Shepard Investments, LLC, and property owner; and John Battaglia, South Shore Bank President.
Project Description and Findings
The May 15, 2013 joint public hearing included an in-depth review and discussion of the history of the Downtown Hingham Overlay District By-Law as set forth in Section III-G of the Zoning By-Law, as well as the recent amendment requiring that banks and financial institutions seeking to be located on the first floor of a building within the Overlay District must first demonstrate that the proposed use is consistent with the purposes and objectives of the Overlay District By-Law and obtain a Special Permit A2 (§ III-G. of the Zoning By-Law).
The proposed Banking Center is to be located in the vacant hardware store building at the 99 South Street property. The Petitioner proposes to establish and operate a state of the art Banking Center on the first floor. Modifications to the exterior of the building have already been approved and are currently under construction.
Attorney McLaughlin stated to the Boards that the Banking Center would protect and promote the viability and value of business and residential properties located in the Downtown Hingham Overlay District (Downtown) with remaining consistent with Hingham’s historic character.
Attorney McLaughlin further explained that South Shore Bank is a host of numerous customer services. The Banking Center will not be a traditional bank with tellers instead it will be a cutting-edge center that offers many financial services, such as, mortgages but also functioning as a learning and training facility offering mobile and on-line banking seminars, investment/retirement planning seminars and various other informational seminars and services. The Banking Center intends to continue offering numerous events that will generate foot traffic for the restaurants and merchants Downtown.
Several Downtown merchants - Child-Genovese Insurance Agency, Inc., Square Café, Brigham’s, Noble’s, and the Whitney Gordon's - support the Banking Center as a means of attracting new patrons to the area, and, therefore, benefitting their businesses.
The Boards discussed the history of the Overlay District By-Law, as well as its proper application to the Bank’s proposed use of a portion of existing structure at 99 South Street. This same discussion was also the topic of a prior meeting of the Hingham Development and Industrial Commission (HDIC) and members of the HDIC were present at the May 15 hearing and presented their various comments, concerns, and opinions regarding whether the Bank’s proposed use was consistent with the goals and objectives of the Overlay District By-Law.
It was noted that the Banking Center would be an anchor tenant, consuming 25% of the property's gross floor area, and would be instrumental in helping the property owner with the maintenance and up-keep of the property.
The parking would not burden the Downtown area because there is ample parking on-site. The Parking Plan submitted shows a total of 76 off-street parking spaces for the property. Mr. Shepard stated the parking spaces within the site have been allocated as follows:
Violet Spa 7
Bar Method 13
Kate’s Table 4
Designer Consignor 4
South Shore Bank 20
This would leave 5 surplus spaces at the site.
Board members reviewed the project in accordance with the Site Plan Criteria contained in Section I-I (6) as follows:
a. protection of abutting properties against detrimental uses by provision for surface water drainage, fire hydrant locations, sound and site buffers, and preservation of views, light and air, and protection of abutting properties from negative impacts from artificial outdoor site lighting;
The Planning Board concurred that, as proposed, the project complies with all use and intensity regulations and that there will not be any adverse effects to abutting properties.
b. convenience and safety of vehicular and pedestrian movement within the site and on adjacent streets; the location of driveway openings in relation to traffic or to adjacent streets, taking account of grades, sight distances and distances between such driveway entrances, exits and the nearest existing street or highway intersections; sufficiency of access for service, utility and emergency vehicles;
No Change with dumpster location or traffic flow.
Parking lot will be re-striped with improvements of the second building.
c. adequacy of the arrangement of parking, loading spaces and traffic patterns in relation to the proposed uses of the premises; compliance with the off-street parking requirements of this By-Law;
In accordance with the Off-Street Parking requirements set forth in Section V-A of the Zoning By-Law, the site has adequate parking for the use.
d. adequacy of open space and setbacks, including adequacy of landscaping of such areas;
e. adequacy of the methods of disposal of refuse and other wastes resulting from the uses permitted on the site;
The pick-up of the shared dumpster will not be between the hours of 9:00 PM and 7:00 AM.
f. prevention or mitigation of adverse impacts on the Town's resources, including, without limitation, water supply, wastewater facilities, energy and public works and public safety resources;
g. assurance of positive stormwater drainage and snow-melt run-off from buildings, driveways and from all parking and loading areas on the site, and prevention of erosion, sedimentation and stormwater pollution and management problems through site design and erosion controls in accordance with the most current versions of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection's Stormwater Management Policy and Standards, and Massachusetts Erosion and Sediment Control Guidelines.
Snow will be stored at the back triangular portion of the lot or will be trucked off-site.
h. protection of natural and historic features including minimizing: the volume of cut and fill, the number of removed trees of 6 inches caliper or larger, the removal of stone walls, and the obstruction of scenic views from publicly accessible locations;
i. minimizing unreasonable departure from the character and scale of buildings in the vicinity or as previously existing on or approved for the site.
Property is improving its compatibility with the site and to the surrounding area.
Decision and Vote
It was moved, seconded and SO VOTED to grant site plan approval for the application and plan entitled “Parking Plan of Land in Hingham, Massachusetts, 85-99 South Street," dated March 29, 2013 for Shepard Investments, LLC and prepared by Edward T. Eisenhaure with the following conditions:
Judith S. Sneath
Chairman, Hingham Planning Board
EXECUTED this _____ day of June, 2013
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Plymouth, ss June ____, 2013
Then personally appeared Judith Sneath, Chairman of the Hingham Planning Board, and acknowledged the foregoing to be the free act and deed of said Board.
_________________________ My Commission Expires: July 22, 2016
Karen M. Clancy, Notary Public