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Applicant and         Linda Kutsch
Property Owner:    21 Martins Cove Road
                             Hingham, MA  02043

Premises:               21 Martins Cove Road
                             Hingham, MA  02043
             Deed Reference:    Plymouth County Registry of Deeds
             Land Court Certificate of Title No. 111258, Book 556, Page 58
This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals on the application of Linda Kutsch (the “Applicant”) for a Special Permit A1 under §III-C of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to replace the existing dock system with a pile supported dock, metal gangway and seasonal float in the Flood Plain and Watershed Protection District at 21 Martins Cove Road (the “Property”), in Residence District C.

A public hearing was duly noticed and held on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at the Town Hall before a panel consisting of regular members Joseph M. Fisher, acting as Chairman, Joseph W. Freeman and associate member Alan M. Kearney.  The applicant was represented by Rod Gaskell of SITEC Environmental, Inc.

The Applicant is the owner of the Property located at 21 Martins Cove Road, a waterfront parcel on Hingham Harbor.  The Property has over 300’ of ocean frontage, anchored by a boulder seawall.  The existing pipe-pile supported dock system, totaling 90’ in length, is removed annually which causes damage each year to the intertidal zone.  The replacement pile supported dock system will extend 150’ to the mean low water mark and will be permanent uni-pile construction with light penetrating decking over salt marsh.  Landward, the existing deck with sitting benches and railings along with a concrete support system are to remain.  Included in the application were plans prepared by SITEC Environmental, Inc. dated September 20, 2011. 

The new replacement dock system was issued an Order of Conditions from the Conservation Commission on September 15, 2011 and meets all their recently revised dock regulations.

Prior to the hearing the most immediate abutters submitted a letter to the Board raising concerns that included potential construction related environmental damage, access to the recreational water area and the potential that property lines as shown on the submitted plans may be misleading.  Another abutter raised concerns regarding the length of the pier and interference with public access to the area.  One abutter spoke in support of the Applicant’s proposal.

The Board, Applicant and the Applicant’s representative discussed the abutters’ concerns, in particular the length of the dock system and the potential construction-related environmental damage to abutting properties that could occur as a result of the barge(s) used for construction and the anchoring system for the barge(s).  The Applicant and her representative agreed to limit the size of the barge used in construction to minimize the potential for environmental damage.  Because the Applicant desires to construct a pier of sufficient length to access navigable water for most of the tide cycle and reduce the damage to the intertidal zone it was agreed that the proposed length of 150’ to mean low water was amenable.  Many nearby properties maintain similar boat landings/docks and the proposed use will be compatible with their size and use of the waterway.

After consideration of the Applicant’s proposal, together with the plans and diagrams submitted by the Applicant, and the existence of similar docks on abutting properties, the Board of Appeals finds that the proposed dock is appropriate for the recreational boating uses proposed by the Applicant, and will not have any significant adverse consequences to the zoning district.  The Board also finds that the Order of Conditions as issued by the Hingham Conservation Commission adequately addresses the environmental issues.                             

Based upon the findings of the Board as set forth above, the Board of Appeals voted unanimously to GRANT the Applicant a Special Permit A1 under Section III-C, 4 of the Zoning By-Law to replace the existing dock system with a pile supported dock, metal gangway and seasonal float in the Flood Plain and Watershed Protection District, subject to the following conditions:

1.    The design of the dock shall be as depicted in the plans submitted by the Applicant and     representations made at the public hearing.
2.    The anchor piles and the float shall each bear the identification of the owner or address of     the property, such that if they break loose or float away the owner can be identified.
3.    No davits shall be placed on the dock or float.
4.    No lights shall be installed on the dock other than lights with amber lenses for safety     walking on the dock.
5.    No ornamentation (flags, lights, windsocks, etc.) shall be erected or placed on the dock.
6.    No rafting of vessels shall be permitted.
7.    The rail shall be a continuous nylon rope and rail posts shall not exceed forty inches (40”) in height as depicted on the plans.
8.    No vessels shall be tied or moored at the dock except directly to the float.
9.    The dock shall be maintained in good condition.
10.    The construction barge is to be limited to no more than 40’ and should be anchored at both the stern and bow during construction to keep the barge in alignment with the construction center line of the existing dock.  If determined that a barge larger than 40’ is needed the Applicant must get approval from the Building Commissioner.

The zoning relief granted herein shall not become effective until (i) the Town Clerk has certified on a copy of this Decision that twenty (20) days have elapsed after the decision has been filed in the office of the Town Clerk and no appeal has been filed or that if such an appeal has been filed, that it has been dismissed or denied, and that (ii) a copy thereof has been duly recorded in the Plymouth County Registry of Deeds and indexed in the grantor index under the name of the owner of record or is recorded and noted on the owner’s certificate of title.

                            For the Zoning Board of Appeals

                            Joseph W. Freeman
                            December 20, 2011