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NOTICE OF DECISION
IN THE MATTER OF:
Owner: Derby Street Nominee Trust
James E. Bristol III and David B. Bristol
190 Old Derby Street, Suite 311
Hingham, MA 02043
Applicant: Plymouth Quarries LLC
Attn: David Bristol and Derek Sterns
410 Whiting Street
Hingham, MA 02043
Premises: 410 Whiting Street, Hingham, MA 02043
Deed Reference: Certificate of Title No. 123952 issued by the Plymouth County Registry District of the Land Court
Plan References: Undated signage plan and specifications prepared by Jean DuVoisin, DuVoisin Design, submitted February 6, 2017 (2 Sheets) and undated plan depicting the proposed sign locations, submitted February 6, 2017 (1 Sheet)
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS
This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the application of Plymouth Quarries LLC (the “Applicant”) for a Variance from § V-B of the Zoning By-Law (the By-Law”) and such other relief as necessary to install two ground signs within the front yard setback at 410 Whiting Street in the Office Park District.
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on March 15, 2017 in Hingham Town Hall. The Board simultaneously opened a concurrent hearing on a related application from the Applicant for a Special Permit A1 under § V-B to install multiple ground signs exceeding 50 SF in area. The Board panel consisted of its regular members Joseph W. Freeman, Chairman, Robyn S. Maguire, and Joseph M. Fisher. The Applicant appeared to present the application. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested relief, with conditions as set forth below.
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 10 acres of land located on the southerly side of Whiting Street (Rte. 53) and opposite Linden Ponds. Two businesses presently operate from the site: Plymouth Quarries and Avo Fence & Supply.
As originally proposed, the plan called for installation of two new ground signs, with a combined area of approximately 79.55 SF, located 0’ from the front property line. The Applicant indicated that relief was required from the 10’ front setback requirement because of the varying topography and ledge on the site. The Applicant represented that compliance with the setback requirement would reduce visibility due to the right of way width of the adjacent state highway that results in the paved portion of Whiting Street being more than 12’ from the front property line.
During the hearing, the Board recognized that topography and ledge affected the Property; however, members also expressed concern about the proposed extent of relief requested and discussed imposition of conditions that would minimize the incursion. The Applicant also confirmed for the Board that the proposed signage would be externally illuminated.
Based on the information submitted and presented during the hearing, and the deliberations and discussions of the Board during the meeting, the Board found that:
1. There are circumstances relating to soil conditions, shape or topography especially affecting the land but not affecting generally the zoning district. The lot is affected by significant areas of ledge outcropping particularly on either side of the entrance to the businesses. The paved portion of the adjacent state highway is located more than 12’ from the front property line as a result of this soil condition. These circumstances area not generally found in the zoning district.
2. The literal enforcement of the Bylaws would involve substantial hardship financial or otherwise. Absent relief, ground signs in a conforming location would be partially obscured by outcroppings and difficult to view from the travelled portion of Whiting Street. A grant of a Variance in this instance will allow for a reasonable placement that is consistent with existing business uses within the District.
3. A variance may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good. The proposed signage location will enhance the visibility of the existing businesses and eliminate any potential traffic hazards as motorists area less likely to brake suddenly to avoid missing the entrance. There will be no adverse effects on the neighborhood and there will be no harm to the public good.
4. A variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purposes of the Bylaw. Relief will permit replacement of the old sign with new business signs in a location that will effectively promote existing business operations on the site in a safe manner. The granting of a dimensional variance in this instance is consistent with the purposes of the By-Law.
Upon a motion made by Joseph M. Fisher and seconded by Robyn S. Maguire, the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the request for a Special Permit A1 Variance from § V-B of the By-Law, allowing two ground signs to be located at 410 Whiting Street in the Office Park District, subject to the following condition:
1. The Applicant shall modify the proposed plan such that the Plymouth Quarries sign is reduced in height to 12’ and the location is not closer than 5’ to the front property line.
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 County 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
May 16, 2017