View Other Items in this Archive | View All Archives | Printable Version

Board of Appeals



Applicant: Hingham High School Rowing Association
PO Box 453
Hingham, MA 02043

Applicant’s Agent: Jack Chapin
33 Highview Drive
Hingham, MA 02043

Owner:         Town of Hingham
210 Central Street
Hingham, MA 02043

Property: 308 Cushing Street, Hingham, MA 02043

Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 1436, Page 133


This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the application of Hingham High School Rowing Association (the "Applicant" or “HHSRA”) for a Special Permit A1 under § III-A, 3.7 of the Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”) and such other relief as necessary to locate a seasonal indoor rowing club at 308 Cushing Street in the Official and Open Space District.

The Board held a duly noticed public hearing on the matter on December 17, 2019 in Hingham Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The Board panel consisted of its regular member Paul K. Healey, Acting Chair, and associate members Joseph Ruccio and Andy Touchette. Jack Chapin appeared on behalf of the HHSRA to represent the application to the Board. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Special Permit, 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, which is owned by the Town of Hingham, consists of 97,963 SF of land located on the east side of Cushing Street. The site is improved by a 10,000(+/-) SF building, parking lot, and yard area. The Hingham Municipal Light Plant formerly operated a service shop/garage from the building and for storage of utility poles and other equipment in the yard area.

The property is currently used for the temporary winter storage of boats and equipment utilized by the Hingham High School rowing and sailing teams. The Board also issued a Special Permit to Hingham Maritime Center to conduct seasonal sailing and rowing club activities, primarily consisting of storage and repair of boats, from the existing building and parking area on the property pursuant to the terms of a non-exclusive and revocable license, executed pursuant to a vote of the Board of Selectmen in November 2018.

HHSRA is a non-profit organization affiliated with the Hingham High School Rowing Association. Responsibilities of the association include maintenance of equipment used by the High School Rowing Program. HHSRA would like, similar to the High School rowing and sailing teams and Hingham Maritime, to use a portion of the existing building for maintenance activities. HHSRA additionally proposes to conduct a private indoor ergometer training program during the winter off-season. On November 19, 2019, the Selectmen voted to authorize HHSRA to submit a Special Permit A1 application to the Board for the proposed use of the subject property.


Based on the information submitted and presented during the hearing, and the deliberations and discussions of the Board during the hearing, the Board made the following findings in accordance with § I-F, 2:

1. The proposed use will be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the Zoning By-Law, for the following reasons: The proposed use of the building is permitted in the Official and Open Space District. Moreover, the proposed seasonal use will not adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of any occupants, neighbors, or the Town.

2. The proposed use complies with the purposes and standards of the relevant specific sections of this By-Law, for the following reasons: The proposal complies with the standards of relevant specific sections of the By-Law related to the use and will not alter the dimensional relief attained for the existing physical improvements as authorized by Variance, dated October 22, 1993.

3. The specific site is an appropriate location for such use, structure, or condition, compatible with the characteristics of the surrounding area, for the following reasons: The proposed use is similar in nature to the former utility provider use in that the HHSRA will also use the building for storage and maintenance. The use is also substantially the same as the current use by the Hingham High School rowing and sailing teams and the Hingham Maritime Center. A winter ergometer training program will additionally be offered by HHSRA within a small portion of the existing building.

4. The use as developed and operated will create positive impacts or potential adverse impacts will be mitigated, for the following reasons: The proposed use of the property will be temporary and relatively passive in nature. No adverse impacts are expected.

5. There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians, for the following reasons: Minimal traffic will be generated by the proposed use. All visitors to the property will park vehicles within the existing parking area. No hazard will result from the use.

6. Adequate and appropriate facilities exist or will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use, for the following reasons:
Adequate facilities, including all necessary utilities and parking, exist to support the proposed use of the existing building.

7. The proposed Project meets accepted design standards and criteria for the functional design of facilities, structures, stormwater management, and site construction, for the following reasons: Not applicable. No changes are proposed to the building or the property in connection with the use.


Upon a motion made by Joseph Ruccio and seconded by Andy Touchette, the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the request by Hingham High School Rowing Association for a Special Permit A1 under § III-A, 3.7 of the By-Law to locate a seasonal indoor rowing club at 308 Cushing Street in the Official and Open Space District, subject to the following conditions:

1. The proposed temporary, seasonal use shall be operated in a manner consistent with the representations made at the hearing before the Board.
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,

Paul K. Healey
December 18, 2019