Current Articles

Warrant Articles for 2020 Town Meeting

Download and View the 2020 Town Meeting Warrant (PDF)

1    Hannah Lincoln Whiting Fund - Passed
2    Assume Liability for DCR on Rivers, Harbors, Etc. - Passed
3    Reports of Various Town Committees - Passed
4    Report of the Personnel Board - Passed
5    Salaries of Town Officers - Passed
6    Budgets - Passed
7    Transfer from the Stabilization Fund - Passed
8    Disbursement of Electric Light Department Receipts - Passed
9    Building Department Revolving Fund - Passed
10    Department of Elder Services Revolving Fund - Passed
11    Transfer Funds to the Reserve Fund - Passed, as Amended
12    Public Safety Facility Feasibility & Design Funds - Passed
13    Public Safety Facility Building Committee - Passed
14    Design Funds for Senior Center Renovations - Passed
15    Senior Center Building Committee - Passed
16    Amendment to Council on Aging By-laws - Passed
17    Additional Funds for Foster School Feasibility Study - Passed
18    Community Preservation Committee - Passed
19    Community Preservation Committee-Benjamin Lincoln House - Passed
20    COLA Adjustments for Retirees - Passed
21    Water: Modify Size of Citizens Advisory Board - Passed
22    Water: Local Acceptance of M.G.L. c. 40, § 42A through 42I - Passed
23    Water: Funding for Water Capital Improvements - Passed
24    Town-wide Facilities Study - Passed
25    IT Department Upgrades - Passed
26    Maintenance Facility for the South Shore Country Club - Passed
27    Citizen Petition: Tree Preservation By-law - Passed, as Amended
28    Acceptance of Solar PILOT agreement 1 - Passed
29    Acceptance of Solar PILOT agreement 2 - Passed
30    Citizen Petition: Hingham Cemetery Expansion - Passed
31    Amend Zoning By-law: Site Plan Review - Passed
32    Amend Zoning By-law: Downtown Overlay District - Passed
33    Amend Zoning By-law: Abandonment or Discontinuance of Nonconforming Single Family Dwellings - Passed
34    Amend Zoning By-law: Update Floodplain Map References - Passed
35      Transfer of Insurance Funds Related to High School Fire - Passed
36    Transfer of Insurance Funds Related to East School Flood - Passed
37    Discontinuance and Disposition of Portion of Old Derby Street - Passed
38    Acceptance of Easement - Passed

     ARTICLE 1:  Will the Town choose all necessary Town Officers, other than those to be elected by ballot, including the following:


One member of the Committee to have charge of the income of the Hannah Lincoln Whiting Fund for a term of three years, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)


      COMMENT:  The Hannah Lincoln Whiting Fund was established in 1915 pursuant to the will of Ada B.W. Bacon in memory of her mother, “...to be expended in relieving the necessities of the deserving poor or unfortunate of South Hingham..."   Grants from the income of the fund are made at the discretion of a committee of three members, one of whom is elected each year by the Town.  As of December 31, 2019, the fund assets totaled $17,456.02 of which $2,456.02 was available for distribution.  The principal of $15,000 is held in trust and is not available for distribution.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED:  That Karen Sadlon, 33 South Pleasant Street, be re-elected as a member of the Committee to have charge of the income of the Hannah Lincoln Whiting Fund for a term of three years.

 

     ARTICLE 2:  Will the Town, in accordance with, and only to the extent permitted by, Massachusetts General Laws chapter 91, section 29, as amended, assume liability for all damages that may be incurred by work to be performed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the improvement, development, maintenance, and protection of tidal and non-tidal rivers and streams, harbors, tide waters, foreshores, and shores along a public beach within the Town, in accordance with section 11 of said chapter 91, and authorize the Board of Selectmen to execute and deliver a bond of indemnity to the Commonwealth assuming such liability, or act on anything relating thereto?  (Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)

 

     COMMENT:  The Department of Conservation and Recreation (“DCR”), as a matter of policy, requires the Town to assume liability if it is to perform any of this type of work within the Town. In accordance with the statute, the Town would assume liability for all damages to property sustained by any person as a result of such work performed by the DCR. 


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED: That the Town, in accordance with, and only to the extent permitted by, Massachusetts General Laws chapter 91, section 29, as amended, assume liability for all damages that may be incurred by work to be performed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the improvement, development, maintenance, and protection of tidal and non-tidal rivers and streams, harbors, tide waters, foreshores, and shores along a public beach within the Town, in accordance with section 11 of said chapter 91, and authorize the Board of Selectmen to execute and deliver a bond of indemnity to the Commonwealth assuming such liability.  

 

     ARTICLE 3:  To receive the reports of the following: Affordable Housing Trust; Audit Committee; Capital Outlay Committee; Cleaner, Greener Hingham; Commission on Disability Issues; Community Preservation Committee; Conservation Commission; Country Club Management Committee; Council on Aging; Energy Action Committee; Fire Station Building Committee; GAR Hall Trustees; Harbor Development Committee; Hingham Historic Districts Commission; the Historian; Historical Commission; Board of Managers of Lincoln Apartments LLC; Master Plan Committee; Memorial Bell Tower Committee; Open Space Acquisition Committee; Scholarship Fund Committee; 2017 School Building Committee; Wastewater Master Planning Committee; Water Supply Committee; and Water Transition and Evaluation Committee, or act on anything relating thereto.
(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)

 

     COMMENT:  The Town is indeed fortunate to have many public-spirited citizens willing to work in these capacities.  We thank them for their excellent service and recommend that all these posts and committees be continued. 


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.

 

     RECOMMENDED: That the reports, if any, of the existing Town Committees and Commissions and the Town Historian be received; and that all of said bodies and posts of government be continued, except that the Fire Station Building Committee be discharged with thanks.

 

     ARTICLE 4:  Will the Town accept the report of the Personnel Board appointed under the Classification and Salary Plan, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)


     COMMENT:  The Personnel Board is established pursuant to the Town of Hingham Personnel By-law and is comprised of five members appointed by the Moderator.


This Article seeks funds to pay for as yet undetermined financial obligations of the Town relating to salary increases, fringe benefit changes, and job reclassifications for non-School Department employees who either are not in a collective bargaining unit or who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement not yet concluded.


This Article also seeks to make two amendments to the Town’s Personnel By-law, which are described in the report of the Personnel Board.  The first would provide an additional week of paid vacation for employees with twenty or more years of service.  The second would enable employees to utilize up to five days of paid sick leave to care for a sick or ill child, spouse, or parent.  Both amendments are intended to align the benefits provided by the Town with those provided by comparable municipalities.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED:  That the report of the Personnel Board, a copy of which is on file in the Town Clerk’s Office, be accepted; that the amendments of the Personnel By-law, including the Classification and Salary Plan, and any Cost Item agreements reached by the Personnel Board in collective bargaining, which may be embodied or referred to in said report, be approved and adopted in their entirety, such approval and adoption to become effective July 1, 2020, or as otherwise specified in said report or agreements; that the Town raise and appropriate the sum of $463,454 for the purpose of this vote; and that the Town Accountant is hereby authorized and instructed to allocate said sum to and among the several Personnel Services and Expense Accounts in such amounts, respectively, as are proper and required to meet such amendments and to comply with such collective bargaining agreements as may be entered into by the Board of Selectmen on behalf of the Town.

 

     ARTICLE 5:  Will the Town fix the salaries of the following Town Officers:

1. Selectmen    

2. Assessors

3. Town Clerk

4. Municipal Light Board;

or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)


     COMMENT:  This Article fixes the salaries of the elected Town Officers listed above.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.

 

     RECOMMENDED:  That, subject to the proviso below, the salary from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, for each of the following officers shall be at the rates below stated or provided after the name of the office. 

Selectmen:  at the annual rate of $2,000 each, except that the Chair shall receive an annual rate of $2,500 for the period of incumbency. 

Assessors:  at the annual rate of $1,800 each, except that the Chair shall receive an annual rate of $2,000 for the period of incumbency.

Town Clerk1:  in accordance with the compensation rates established in Grade 15 of the Town of Hingham Classification and Salary Plan of the Personnel By-law.  

Municipal Light Board:  at the annual rate of $214 each (to be paid from the receipts of the Electric Light Department).

Provided:  that the salary of the Town Clerk shall be reduced by all retirement allowances and pensions received by such officer from the Town of Hingham.    

 

 

1   Town Clerk, when serving as a member of the Board of Registrars of Voters, shall be paid for such duties in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws chapter 41, section 19G.      

     ARTICLE 6:  Will the Town raise and appropriate, or transfer from available funds, sums of money to defray the expenses of the Town for the twelve-month period beginning July 1, 2020, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen) 


     COMMENT: The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this budget.


     RECOMMENDED: That the Town raise and appropriate for each of the following purposes, for the Fiscal Year beginning July 1, 2020, the sum 

 
 

of money stated therefor, provided that, where a transfer appropriation is stated, the amount so indicated shall be transferred or specifically appropriated as stated; also that the authority is hereby given to turn in vehicles and equipment in partial payment for vehicles and equipment purchased in those cases where a turn-in is stated; and provided that any amount or portion thereof appropriated to a sub-account and included in a numbered account as set forth below may be transferred to another sub-account under the same numbered account with the approval of the Board of Selectmen and the Advisory Committee.

 

 

 
    




Advisory



Fiscal 2019

Fiscal 2020

Fiscal 2021



Expended

Appropriated

Recommended







 GENERAL GOVERNMENT










122 SELECTMEN





  Payroll

489,909

399,391

474,343


  Expenses

83,860

59,140

73,040


  Total

573,769

458,531

547,383







131 HUMAN RESOURCE





  Payroll

0

130,596

132,840


  Expenses

0

3,350

3,350


  Total

0

133,946

136,190







132 RESERVE FUND

1,209,103

611,500

629,100







135 TOWN ACCOUNTANT





  Payroll

288,172

266,001

275,572


  Expenses

10,959

11,355

11,355


  Audit

62,000

71,500

71,500


  Total

361,131

348,856

358,427







137 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY





  Payroll

177,248

201,046

303,358


  Expenses

208,463

242,794

261,789


  Capital Outlay ($106,000 from Available Reserves)

76,652

104,000

106,000


  Total

462,363

547,840

671,147







141 ASSESSORS





  Payroll

257,864

281,069

273,737


  Expenses

6,336

11,513

11,513


  Consulting

66,786

48,000

48,000


  Map Maintenance

3,041

6,000

6,000


  Total

334,027

346,582

339,250





Advisory



Fiscal 2019

Fiscal 2020

Fiscal 2021



Expended

Appropriated

Recommended







145 TREASURER/COLLECTOR





  Payroll

346,370

350,050

355,702


  Expenses

42,207

46,792

46,920


  Tax Titles

555

10,000

10,000


  Capital Outlay ($7,000 from Available Reserves)

0

0

7,000


  Total

389,132

406,842

419,622







151 LEGAL SERVICES

641,309

257,000

257,000







159 TOWN MEETINGS





  Payroll

4,362

2,692

2,692


  Expenses

56,195

30,500

35,500


  Total

60,557

33,192

38,192







161 TOWN CLERK





  Payroll

195,533

198,899

195,808


  Expenses

7,305

7,866

7,866


  Capital Outlay ($10,200 from Available Reserves)

0

0

10,200


  Total

202,838

206,765

213,874







162 ELECTIONS





  Payroll

26,729

12,650

29,292


  Expenses

14,497

14,795

21,845


  Total

41,226

27,445

51,137







171 CONSERVATION COMMISSION





   Payroll

0

178,759

183,401


   Expenses

0

13,306

13,306


   Total

0

192,065

196,707







175 COMMUNITY PLANNING





   Payroll

725,260

156,292

161,175


   Expenses

91,655

21,705

21,705


   Total

816,915

177,997

182,880







176 LAND USE & DEVELOPMENT





  Payroll

0

142,677

144,986


  Expenses

0

7,375

7,375


  Total

0

150,052

152,361







177 BARE COVE PARK





  Payroll

18,221

18,370

18,657


  Expenses

7,319

9,390

9,390


  Total

25,540

27,760

28,047






Advisory



Fiscal 2019

Fiscal 2020

Fiscal 2021



Expended

Appropriated

Recommended







192 TOWN HALL





  Payroll

220,619

228,262

256,234


  Expenses

361,926

424,005

453,802


  Capital Outlay ($91,000 from Available Reserves)

11,649

26,784

91,000


  Total

594,194

679,051

801,036







193 GRAND ARMY MEMORIAL



 


    HALL

17,209

16,256

18,875



 

 

 


TOTAL GENERAL GOVERNMENT

5,729,313

4,621,680

5,041,228







     PUBLIC SAFETY










210 POLICE DEPARTMENT





  Payroll (Overtime $470,214)

5,358,025

5,727,622

5,758,049


  Expenses

358,137

385,750

399,150


  Capital Outlay ($58,500 from Municipal Waterways/

322,615

273,000

454,500


                           $396,000 from Available Reserves)





  Total

6,038,777

6,386,372

6,611,699







220 FIRE DEPARTMENT





  Payroll (Overtime $482,171)

5,464,073

5,533,871

5,592,549


  Expenses

397,436

443,175

471,767


  Capital Outlay ($150,500 from Available Reserves)

116,517

454,000

150,500


  Total

5,978,026

6,431,046

6,214,816







240 DISPATCH SERVICES





  Expenses

832,283

901,390

946,460


  Total

832,283

901,390

946,460







241 BUILDING COMMISSIONER





  Payroll

0

227,694

233,938


  Expenses

0

14,378

15,960


  Total

0

242,072

249,898







292 ANIMAL CONTROL





  Payroll

56,842

66,872

67,986


  Expenses

3,385

5,800

6,200


  Total

60,227

72,672

74,186







295 HARBORMASTER





  Payroll

180,933

190,760

200,417


  Expenses

64,093

68,858

75,921


  Total

245,026

259,618

276,338










Advisory



Fiscal 2019

Fiscal 2020

Fiscal 2021



Expended

Appropriated

Recommended







299 PUBLIC SAFETY UTILITIES





  Emergency Water

  291,292

410,900

407,750


  Street Lighting

105,000

105,000

105,000


  Total

396,292

515,900

512,750



 

 

 


TOTAL PUBLIC SAFETY

13,550,631

14,809,070

14,886,147






  EDUCATION






 




300 SCHOOL DEPARTMENT

 


 


  Payroll

43,039,573

46,171,853

47,086,718


  Expenses

8,312,458

8,147,973

9,644,267


  Capital Outlay ($1,349,866 from Available Reserves)

838,174

975,751

1,349,866







TOTAL EDUCATION

52,190,205

55,295,577

58,080,851







     PUBLIC WORKS AND FACILITIES










405 TOWN ENGINEERING





  Payroll

283,807

282,313

0


  Expenses

34,593

13,935

0


  Road Bldg./Construction

241,217

300,000

0


  Total

559,617

596,248

0







420 HIGHWAY/RECREATION/TREE & PARK





  Payroll (Overtime $86,500)

2,070,810

2,223,271

2,376,898


  Expenses

398,376

466,755

826,469


  Capital Outlay ($363,500 from available reserves)

380,747

221,000

363,500


  Snow Removal

803,076

563,365

563,365


  Road Maintenance

398,115

362,500

382,500


  Total

4,051,124

3,836,891

4,512,732







430 LANDFILL/RECYCLING





  Payroll (Overtime $36,100)

619,641

604,167

611,875


  Expenses

762,729

860,879

886,229


  Capital Outlay ($163,000 From Available Reserves)

195,331

165,000

163,000


  Total

1,577,701

1,630,046

1,661,104







440 SEWER COMMISSION





  Payroll (Overtime $28,898)

341,215

373,341

371,660


  Expenses

254,221

282,611

318,992


  Capital Outlay

248,582

191,000

286,000


  Engineering

3,418

10,000

10,000


  MWRA Charges

1,902,184

2,113,776

2,130,980


  Debt Service

0


74,656





Advisory



Fiscal 2019

Fiscal 2020

Fiscal 2021



Expended

Appropriated

Recommended







  Hull Intermunicipal Agreement

283,476

445,869

445,869


  Total

3,033,096

3,416,597

3,638,157


The sum of $3,638,157 shall be funded from Sewer      Revenue






 


 


TOTAL PUBLIC WORKS 

9,221,538

9,479,782

9,811,993







     HUMAN SERVICES










510 HEALTH DEPARTMENT





  Payroll

286,336

309,032

335,862


  Expenses

29,061

36,797

19,862


  Capital Outlay ($27,000 from Available Reserves)

0

0

27,000


  Total

315,397

345,829

382,724







541 ELDER SERVICES





  Payroll

253,126

255,176

260,410


  Expenses

20,653

19,215

24,888


  Total

273,779

274,391

285,298







543 VETERANS’ SERVICES





  Payroll

104,301

105,102

106,788


  Expenses

6,114

7,019

7,778


  Benefits

166,524

243,002

196,946


  Total

276,939

355,123

311,512







545 HEALTH IMPERATIVES

2,700

2,700

2,700







546 SOUTH SHORE WOMEN’S





      CENTER

3,700

3,700

3,700




 



TOTAL HUMAN SERVICES

872,515

981,743

985,934





 


     CULTURE AND RECREATION


 






 


610 LIBRARY



 


  Payroll

1,408,212

1,495,489

1,521,020


  Expenses

302,481

325,426

346,264


  Capital Outlay ($107,500 from Available Reserves)

38,475

60,000

107,500


  Total

1,749,168

1,880,915

1,974,784







630 RECREATION COMMISSION





  Payroll

103,403

104,317

105,990


  Total

103,403

104,317

105,990










Advisory



Fiscal 2019

Fiscal 2020

Fiscal 2021



Expended

Appropriated

Recommended







650 TRUSTEES OF BATHING BEACH





  Payroll

20,661

20,664

24,077


  Expenses

18,147

8,058

8,058


  Total

38,808

28,722

32,135







691 HISTORICAL COMMISSION





  Payroll

0

73,012

74,194


  Expenses

0

5,291

7,991


  Total

0

78,303

82,185







692 CELEBRATIONS

12,573

15,661

16,615



 

 

 


TOTAL CULTURE & RECREATION

1,903,952

2,107,918

2,211,709



 


 


     ENTERPRISE FUND










720 COUNTRY CLUB





  Payroll

877,573

963,126

915,392


  Expenses

1,142,358

980,363

851,350


  Total

2,019,931

1,943,489

1,766,742


  The sum of $1,766,742 shall be funded from Country       Club Revenue

 


 







730 WEIR RIVER WATER SYSTEM





  Payroll

0

240,120

246,725


  Operating Expenses

0

4,420,000

5,638,990


  PILOT

0

830,503

840,958


  Debt Service

0

2,688,662

1,539,000


  Revenue/Budgeted Surplus

0

4,867,883

2,332,306


  Total

0

13,047,168

10,597,979


  The sum of $10,597,979 shall be funded from Weir River  Water System Revenue










TOTAL ENTERPRISE FUND

2,019,931

14,990,657

12,364,721







     DEBT SERVICE










     DEBT SERVICE($843,171 from Available Reserves)

8,646,544

8,214,774

7,932,128





 


TOTAL DEBT SERVICE

8,646,544

8,214,774

7,932,128



 

 

 


 





 





 





 








Advisory



Fiscal 2019

Fiscal 2020

Fiscal 2021



Expended

Appropriated

Recommended


 





     EMPLOYEE BENEFITS










900 GROUP INSURANCE

6,024,500

6,287,375

6,679,255







903 OTHER POST EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

1,136,484

1,153,245

1,194,156







910 CONTRIBUTORY RETIREMENT

4,502,044

4,801,468

5,090,917







912 WORKER’S COMPENSATION

371,315

330,000

330,000







913 UNEMPLOYMENT

53,162

30,000

30,000







914 MANDATORY MEDICARE

903,153

973,500

1,070,850





 


TOTAL EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

12,990,658

13,575,588

14,395,178







     UNCLASSIFIED










999 Unclassified

6,060

6,700

7,550







915   Property and Liability Insurance

654,308

687,023

759,633







TOTAL UNCLASSIFIED

660,368

693,723

767,183



 

 

 


GRAND TOTAL

107,785,655

124,770,512

126,477,072


















 

     ARTICLE 7:  Will the Town transfer a sum of money from the Stabilization Fund and/or from available reserves for the purpose of reducing the Fiscal Year 2021 tax rate, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)


     COMMENT:  Pursuant to prior Town Meeting votes, the proceeds from the sale of the former School Administration Building, Municipal Light Plant Building, and the former Police Station were deposited in the Stabilization Fund for future tax reduction. This amount was augmented by the addition of bond premiums associated with the refinancing of excluded debt. This Article would transfer a portion of the Stabilization Fund for the purpose of reducing the Fiscal Year 2021 tax rate. 


Approval of this Article requires a two-thirds vote of Town Meeting.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article. 


     RECOMMENDED:  That the Town transfer the sum of $178,836 from the Stabilization Fund for the purpose of reducing the Fiscal Year 2021 tax rate.

 

     ARTICLE 8:  Will the Town appropriate, from the receipts of the Hingham Municipal Lighting Plant, money for the maintenance and operation of the Plant for the 12-month period commencing July 1, 2020, pursuant to sections 57 and 57A of chapter 164 of the Massachusetts General Laws, and provide for the disposition of any surplus receipts, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)

    

      COMMENT:  The Hingham Municipal Lighting Plant (“HMLP”) is self-funding; funds collected from billing customers are used to pay all expenses incurred by the Plant.  The HMLP Board has an agreement with the Town whereby HMLP makes a payment in lieu of taxes (“PILOT”) to the Town.  The PILOT amount is calculated by multiplying the number of kilowatt hours sold by HMLP in the prior year by $0.0025, with a minimum payment to the Town of $450,000.  Based on sales for the last several years, it is estimated that this year’s payment will be approximately $500,000.  The Plant’s PILOT to the Town has the effect of reducing the Town’s tax rate.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.

     RECOMMENDED:  That, with the exception of the Hingham Municipal Lighting Plant’s (“HMLP”) payment in lieu of taxes, which is hereby transferred to the Town’s General Fund, all funds received by the HMLP during the 12-month period commencing July 1, 2020, be appropriated to said HMLP, the same to be expended by the Manager of said HMLP under the control and direction of the Municipal Light Board, for the expenses of the Plant during said period, as defined in sections 57 and 57A of chapter 164 of the Massachusetts General Laws, and, if there should be any surplus receipts at the end of said period, such amount as is deemed necessary shall be transferred to the Plant’s net investment in capital assets and appropriated and used for such additions to the Plant as may be authorized by the Municipal Light Board. 

 

     ARTICLE 9:  Will the Town limit the total amount that may be spent from the Building Department Revolving Fund, established under Article 18 of the General By-laws, to $350,000.00 during Fiscal Year 2021, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)


     COMMENT:  The Building Department Revolving Fund is credited with all fees from plumbing, gas, and electrical inspections performed by Inspectors.  This fund is used to pay wages, salaries, and fringe benefits (as applicable) to these Building Department staff members. This Article would limit the total amount that may be spent from this revolving fund.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED:  That the Town limit the total amount that may be spent from the Building Department Revolving Fund for Fiscal Year 2021 to $350,000.

     ARTICLE 10:  Will the Town limit the total amount that may be spent from the Elder Services Revolving Fund, established under Article 16 of the General By-laws, to $80,000.00 during Fiscal Year 2021, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted at the request of the Council on Aging)


     COMMENT:  The Department of Elder Services Revolving Fund is credited with all fees and charges received from Senior Center programs and pays expenses associated with providing these services and activities for the Town’s senior residents.  This Article would limit the total amount that may be spent from this revolving fund.

The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in favor of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED:  That the Town limit the total amount that may be spent from the Elder Services Revolving Fund for Fiscal Year 2021 to $80,000.

 

     ARTICLE 11:  Will the Town raise and appropriate, or transfer from available funds, a sum of money to the Town’s Reserve Fund for use during Fiscal Year 2020, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)


     COMMENT:  This Article is included each year in the event that the existing Reserve Fund is not adequate to cover unbudgeted and unanticipated expenses for the balance of the current Fiscal Year (FY 2020).  The specific amount will be reported at Town Meeting.


     RECOMMENDED: The Advisory Committee will make its recommendation at Town Meeting.

 

     ARTICLE 12:  Will the Town vote to raise and appropriate, borrow or transfer from available funds a sum of money for the purpose of determining the feasibility of locating a new Public Safety Facility, and for the conceptual design thereof, to be located on the property known as 335 Lincoln Street, Hingham, MA, or elsewhere, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)


     COMMENT:  This is the first of four Articles relating to facilities for the Police and Fire Departments and the Senior Center.

 

The Town has had several initiatives over the past five years to address the needs of key municipal departments as the Town’s population has grown and changed in its demographics.  In particular, the Fire Department, the Police Department, and the Senior Center have outgrown their current facilities, making it more difficult to provide services at the level Town residents have grown to expect.  Additionally, Town Hall does not have enough parking to meet the needs of Town employees and citizens conducting business at Town Hall.  Approval of this Article will allow the Town to address the space and programmatic needs of these departments by creating a Public Safety Facility on Route 3A. 


The North Fire Station (“North Station”) is the primary fire station serving northwest Hingham.  North Station has had minimal upgrades since it opened in 1942.  It still uses many original systems, has no sprinkler system, and lacks adequate space to accommodate the mission of a modern fire department.  Its two bays are neither sized nor configured to accommodate modern fire equipment, and the housing areas in the station do not have proper bathrooms and living space for both male and female fire fighters.  In 2015, Town Meeting formed a Fire Station Building Committee and appropriated $500,000 for design work to renovate North Station. This Committee determined that renovating the current station was not feasible given the site constraints – specifically, its small size and the nature of the soil under the site.  In 2016, Town Meeting approved additional monies to identify a new site for North Station, among other things. 


In 1998, the Police Department moved to its current location in Town Hall, into space that was added in 1967 to the original 1928 school building.  In 2011, the South Shore Regional Emergency Communications Center (“SSRECC”), which provides regional emergency dispatch service for Cohasset, Hingham, Hull, and Norwell moved into 1,500 square feet of Police Department space. At present, the Police Department has an inadequate entry area, an insufficient number of meeting rooms, and inadequate training space.  As with the North Fire Station, the Police Department facilities were not built to accommodate both female and male officers.  Additionally, Police Department vehicles use 40 parking spaces at Town Hall.                                                                                                                                       


The proposed Public Safety Facility will house the Police Department Headquarters and a satellite station of the Fire Department, replacing the current North Fire Station. The Fire Department Headquarters will remain at 339 Main Street. SSRECC will remain at Town Hall.


The Town can expect many benefits when creating a single Public Safety Facility.  Both departments will benefit from a modern facility that is sized and structured for Hingham’s current population and density. The departments will be able to take advantage of operational efficiencies, which may include shared meeting rooms, training areas, and work out facilities. While the Police Department’s actual location is flexible – on-duty officers are working in specific patrol areas and are not responding to calls from the building itself - the siting of a fire station is critical.  The new station must accommodate appropriate response times to all of north Hingham and must be sited north of the train tracks.  The 335 Lincoln Street location meets these criteria.


If this Article is approved, it is expected that there will

be a Special Town Meeting in the fall of 2020 to approve the purchase of the property and the full costs of design and construction. Construction would then begin in the spring of 2021, with an expected completion date of fall, 2022.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED:  That the Town transfer from available reserves an amount not in excess of $250,000 for a feasibility study and conceptual design documents related to a new Public Safety Facility located at 335 Lincoln Street, Hingham, MA.

 

     ARTICLE 13:  Will the Town vote to establish a Public Safety Facility Building Committee for the purpose of overseeing the determination regarding the feasibility of locating a new Public Safety Facility, and for the conceptual design, final design, engineering and construction thereof, to be located on the property known as 335 Lincoln Street, Hingham, MA, or elsewhere, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)


     COMMENT: This Article proposes to establish a Public Safety Facility Building Committee to oversee the feasibility study, design and construction of such facility, currently planned at 335 Lincoln Street.  This Committee’s activities and scope supersede those of the Fire Station Building Committee.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED: That the Town establish a Public Safety Facility Building Committee consisting of seven members, as follows: four citizens of the Town appointed by the Moderator and three citizens of the Town appointed by the Board of Selectmen, with the Fire Chief and the Police Chief serving as ex-officio, non-voting members and the chair of said committee to be elected from among its members.

 

     ARTICLE 14:  Will the Town raise and appropriate, borrow or transfer from available funds, a sum of money to be expended by the Board of Selectmen to be used for any expenses related to design and engineering services for renovations to the Senior Center and the space currently occupied by the Police Department in Town Hall or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)

     COMMENT:  The purpose of this Article is to make long-needed upgrades to the Senior Center (“Center”), which is severely constrained in serving the needs of a growing senior citizen population in Hingham.  The Center currently occupies approximately 5,000 square feet on the south end of Town Hall.  It has not seen a renovation since moving into the building in 1998.


There are 7,345 senior citizens age 60 and over residing in Hingham, which constitutes 31.4% of the Town’s population (Source: Feb 2020 Town census). The number of senior citizens, as well as their proportion of Town residents, is expected to grow over the next decade (Source: 2015 UMass Donohue Institute study).


The age, configuration, and size of the Center limit the programs that can be offered to this population.  Parking is severely constrained, and access to the Center when entering the building at the north and front entrances is a challenge for individuals with limited mobility.  As a result, some individuals choose not to use the Center.  Others cannot use the Center because it is not compliant with the Americans with Disability Act (“ADA”), making use of restrooms and movement around the space less convenient and less safe.  Many programs are smaller than they could be due to a lack of space.  For example, cooking classes are highly popular, yet the size of the kitchen will allow just 6 participants in a class.  The current function room generally can be configured for just one event at a time due to space limitations and the lack of any noise deadening capability.  Activities are sometimes moved outside the Center to other parts of the building due to these challenges. 


With the possible creation of a new Public Safety Facility as discussed in Article 12 there is now an opportunity for the Center to expand into contiguous space currently occupied by the Police Department; this would increase the Center’s space to approximately 15,000 square feet.  The larger and updated Center would include:

  • More available parking with the departure of the Police Department, as well as inclement weather protection for arriving cars and vans.
  • ADA compliant building access and interior features such as wide doorways and handicap restrooms.
  • A larger, modern kitchen to support on-site food preparation for gatherings and congregate meals, and for the expansion of both the variety and size of cooking classes.
  • Additional private spaces for personal services such as tax preparation, insurance counselling, professional consultations, and a health room for pedicare services and reflexology.
  • Separate areas for staff and administrative functions.
  • Additional activity areas to accommodate educational events and exercise classes, such as instruction in staying safe (physically and on-line), support services for caregivers, and yoga classes. 


The design work may open up other possibilities for creative and efficient use of space in other parts of Town Hall. For example, the renovated Center with its greater space and larger kitchen might house what is now the Town Hall lunchroom. This would have the dual benefit of freeing up the lunchroom’s current space for other purposes and would bring patrons of the Center into the social environment of Town Hall. There also may be ancillary space freed on the Town Hall second floor area now occupied by the Police Department that could be used for administrative functions of other Town departments or programs. 


The cost for designing the renovation of the Center and space occupied by the Police Department is $525,000, to be expended for architectural, engineering, and other services related to the site design through the issuance of bid documents for construction. As part of this design, options for expansion of parking will be evaluated.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.        


     RECOMMENDED:  That the Town appropriate from available reserves an amount not in excess of $525,000 to be expended by the Board of Selectmen to be used for any expenses for architectural, engineering, and other services related to site design through the issuance of bid documents for construction for renovations to the Senior Center and the space currently occupied by the Police Department in Town Hall, including ancillary space in Town Hall and related parking spaces.

 

     ARTICLE 15:  Will the Town vote to establish a Senior Center Building Committee for the purpose of overseeing the design, engineering and renovation of the Senior Center and the space currently occupied by the Police Department located at 224 Central Street, Hingham, MA, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)


     COMMENT:  This Article establishes a Senior Center Building Committee to oversee the renovation and expansion of the Senior Center into space now occupied by the Police Department, as well as the renovation of any ancillary space that may be created as part of this project.  The Senior Center Building Committee will receive its charge from the Board of Selectmen and will oversee all phases of the project, from design and engineering plans through construction.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.        


     RECOMMENDED:  That the Town establish a Senior Center Building Committee consisting of seven members, as follows: four citizens of the Town appointed by the Moderator; three citizens of the town appointed by the Board of Selectmen; with the Director of Elder Services serving as an ex officio non-voting member, and the chair of said committee to be elected from among its members.  

 

     ARTICLE 16:  Will the Town vote to amend Section 16 of the General By-laws of the Town, adopted March 13, 1939, as heretofore amended, as follows:


By deleting the first sentence of Section 4 of Article 16 and replacing it with the following sentence:


The Council on Aging at its annual meeting to be held at a date, time and place as determined by the Council shall elect from its membership a Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary.


And by deleting Section 5 of Article 16 and replacing it with the following:


Section 5 - The Council shall submit an annual report of its activities to the Town and shall send a copy thereof to the Executive Office of Elder Affairs.


or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted at the request of the Council on Aging)


     COMMENT: The purpose of this Article is to update the language of the Town’s Council on Aging (“COA”) By-law.  Upon recent review of the COA By-law, article 16 of the Hingham General By-laws, the COA found that the current leadership titles and the date of its annual meeting in section 4 are out of date.  In Sections 1 and 5, the name of the Commonwealth’s agency responsible for elder affairs is also out of date.


The COA serves in an advisory capacity to the Town’s Department of Elder Services.  Elder Services provides programs, services, activities and transportation for all residents 60 years of age and older and serves as a resource for information to families, friends, and neighbors who may find themselves caring for an older person.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.

 

     RECOMMENDED: That the Town amend article 16 of the General By-laws of the Town, adopted March 13, 1939, as heretofore amended, as follows:

 

By deleting section 1 of article 16 and replacing it with the following sentence:

 

“There shall be a Council on Aging for the purpose of coordinating or carrying out programs designed to meet the problems of the aging in cooperation with programs of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs as established under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 6A, section 16.”

 

By deleting the first sentence of section 4 of article 16 and replacing it with the following sentence:

 

“The Council on Aging at its annual meeting to be held at a date, time, and place as determined by the Council shall elect from its membership a Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary.”

 

And by deleting section 5 of article 16 and replacing it with the following:

 

“Section 5 - The Council shall submit an annual report of its activities to the Town and shall send a copy thereof to the Executive Office of Elder Affairs.”

 

     ARTICLE 17:  Will the Town vote to appropriate, borrow or transfer from available funds, a supplemental  amount of money (in addition to those funds appropriated under Article 20 of the 2017 Town of Hingham Annual Town Meeting) to be expended under the direction of the 2017 School Building Committee for a feasibility study for Foster Elementary School located at 55 Downer Ave (Assessor’s Map ID 38/0/1), for which feasibility study the Town may be eligible for a grant from the Massachusetts School Building Authority. The MSBA’s grant program is a non-entitlement, discretionary program based on need, as determined by the MSBA, and any costs the Town incurs in connection with the feasibility study in excess of any grant approved by and received from the MSBA shall be the sole responsibility of the Town, or act on anything relating thereto.

(Inserted at the request of the School Committee)


     COMMENT:  By vote under Article 20 of the 2017 Annual Town Meeting, a $750,000 fund was established to be used by the 2017 School Building Committee for a feasibility study of Foster Elementary School for a possible renovation to the existing building or a new school building.  A feasibility study is a key requirement of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”) Core program and serves as a guide to future decisions regarding the school.  The appropriation was made contingent upon the Town being accepted into the MSBA program.


In December 2019, the Town received notification that it had been admitted into the first phase of the MSBA program.  Since 2017, construction and related costs have increased prompting concerns about the adequacy of the original 2017 Town Meeting appropriation.  A review by the 2017 School Building Committee indicates that feasibility study costs for similarly sized projects incurred by other towns recently accepted into the State program have been in excess of the $750,000 currently appropriated by Hingham.  This Article would provide the additional funds needed so that the 2017 School Building Committee has adequate resources to ensure a thorough feasibility study is performed. A comprehensive study is essential to understanding the most beneficial and cost-effective solution to the needs of both the Town and the Foster School community. The funds appropriated under this Article, as well as those funds previously approved, will only be spent on an as needed basis.


Approval of this Article requires a two-thirds vote of Town Meeting.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED:  That the Town appropriate an amount not in excess of $350,000 (in addition to those funds appropriated under Article 20 of the 2017 Town of Hingham Annual Town Meeting) to be expended under the direction of the 2017 School Building Committee for a feasibility study for Foster Elementary School located at 55 Downer Ave (Assessor’s Map ID 38/0/1), for which feasibility study the Town may be eligible for a grant from the Massachusetts School Building Authority. To meet said appropriation, the Treasurer, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen, is authorized to borrow said sum under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 44, section 7, or any other enabling authority and to issue bonds or notes of the Town therefor.

 

Any premium received by the Town upon the sale of any bonds or notes approved by this vote, less any such premium applied to the payment of the costs of issuance of such bonds or notes, may be applied to the payment of costs approved by this vote in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws chapter 44, section 20 thereby reducing the amount authorized to be borrowed to pay such costs by a like amount.

 

     ARTICLE 18:  Will the Town appropriate and/or borrow or set aside for later spending funds as recommended by the Community Preservation Committee as follows:

Appropriate a sum of money in the amount of $272,300 from the Community Preservation General Fund to be used by the Hingham Affordable Housing Trust for the HAHT Opportunity Fund;


Appropriate a sum of money in the amount of $75,000 from the Community Preservation General Fund to be used by the Hingham Recreation Commission to repair the tennis courts at Plymouth River School located at 0 High Street, Map 124/Lot 43;


Appropriate a sum of money in the amount of $8,000 from the Community Preservation General Fund to be used by the Hingham Conservation Commission to re-survey the property boundary of the Lehner Conservation Area, erect two way-finding kiosks, and mark with fence posts a boundary between the Lehner Conservation Area and a private property located at 0, 32, and 56  South Pleasant Street, Map 137/Lots 1, 18, & 21b;


Appropriate a sum of money in the amount of $40,000 from the Community Preservation General Fund to be used by the Hingham Historical Commission to clear the land and repair gravestones at the Canterbury Street Cemetery located at the intersection of Canterbury and Rockland Streets, Map 43, Lot 110;


Appropriate a sum of money in the amount of $500,000 from the Community Preservation General Fund to be used by the South Shore Country Club for the design and construction documents of a new pool to be located at 274 South Street, Map 70/Lot14;

 

Appropriate a sum of money in the amount of $32,030 from the Community Preservation General Fund to be used by the Congregation of Second Parish to restore the tower clocks located at 685 Main Street, Map 126/Lot 47


or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted at the request of the Community Preservation Committee)


     COMMENT: The Community Preservation Act (Massachusetts General Laws chapter 44B) (“CPA”) is a local option statute enacted by the State Legislature in 2000 and adopted by the Town in 2001.  It enables municipalities to collect and expend funds (including matching funds from the Commonwealth) to maintain their character by supporting open space, affordable housing, recreation lands, and historic preservation initiatives specifically defined by the CPA. The current Hingham CPA surcharge rate is 1.5% of real property taxes.


The Community Preservation Committee (“CPC”) started the deliberation process this year with a budget of $1,692,999.  That includes local tax revenue from FY19 of $1,081,374 and a State grant of $152,625. It also includes $459,000 of funds returned to the CPC from projects that were approved in a prior year but later cancelled.


This year, as in years past, the dollar amount of grants sought by applicants to CPC exceeded CPC’s budget.  CPC scrutinized each grant application and applied consistent CPC guidelines and criteria to determine which applications to approve and, for those approved, a grant amount that fits within the year’s budget.  In many cases, the amount of a proposed grant is less than the amount sought by the applicant.


In 2020, the CPC recommends approval of funding for seven projects for a total of $1,203,999.  Note that this Article seeks approval for six of the seven projects. The seventh project (Benjamin Lincoln House) is contained in a separate Article and requests the expenditure of current CPA funds ($276,669 of the $1,203,999 mentioned above) plus a bond issuance of $495,331 (see Article 19).  An additional $133,000 of CPA funds will be set aside in anticipation of debt payments for the Hingham Heritage Museum.  The museum project ($1,100,000) was approved by the 2013 Annual Town Meeting and has required debt payments from CPA funds since then. This year’s payment is the final payment required to retire this debt.  An additional $356,000 of CPA funds will be set aside in anticipation of debt payments for the Lehner Property.  In previous years, $1,071,000 has been retained for this purpose.  The purchase of this property ($5,000,000) was approved by the 2016 Annual Town Meeting, using an initial payment of $500,000 from available funds, plus borrowing for $4,500,000, and will require debt payments from CPA funds until 2036.


The proposed funding of the 2020 projects will meet the required 2020 allocations for historic preservation, open space, and affordable housing.


The comments of the Advisory Committee are set forth below and correspond to the numbered sections of this Article.


1)   CPC recommends a grant of $272,300 for the Hingham Affordable Housing Trust (“HAHT”) to be placed in the Opportunity Fund established by 2007 Annual Town Meeting.  The purpose of the Trust is summarized in the Article approved by Town Meeting, “… to provide for the creation and preservation of affordable housing in the Town of Hingham for low- and moderate-income households.” Often the opportunities to create new affordable housing units require quick responses, like when a property is listed for sale.  All purchases are subject to detailed financial reporting and Selectmen approval. The Town has placed $1,257,511 in the Opportunity Fund since it was established, and the balance in the fund as of December 31, 2019 is $145,306.


While Hingham has achieved its 10% minimum affordable housing requirement until 2030, HAHT continues its efforts to purchase and develop affordable housing within the Town, given the increasing and high cost of housing, the higher than average percentage of renters who are cost-burdened, and the gap in available housing for older and disabled residents.  CPA funding is the primary funding source for HAHT.  When HAHT purchases such a property, it applies for an affordability restriction from the State Department of Housing and Community Development.  Once the restriction is in effect, HAHT sells the property and places the proceeds back into the Opportunity Fund for future purchases.


HAHT is currently in various stages of the creation of

seven affordable housing units, including a two-family house on Rhodes Circle.  It has also been working with the Town’s Planning Board, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Hingham Housing Authority, and the Department of Community Development to create a Hingham Housing Needs Assessment.  The goal is to proactively address local housing issues and to sponsor initiatives to meet the most pressing of these needs.


The Advisory Committee, the Board of Selectmen, and the Community Preservation Committee voted unanimously in support of this project.


2)  CPC recommends a grant of $75,000 for the Recreation Commission to renovate six tennis court surfaces at the Plymouth River School by applying a “Rite Way” overlay membrane. Court surfaces currently have hundreds of lineal feet of structural cracks that hurt game play and are a safety concern.


The “Rite Way” method uses plexipave technology to waterproof existing cracks, allowing them to move without breaking the surface membrane.  Application of this resurfacing system will prevent further major degradation and is considered to be a low-cost alternative to asphalt replacement.  The cost also includes relining the courts for both tennis and pickleball. The useful life of the product is approximately five years.


The Advisory Committee, the Board of Selectmen, and the Community Preservation Committee voted unanimously in support of this project.


3)  CPC recommends a grant of $8,000 for the Conservation Commission to re-survey a portion of the property boundary and install permanent boundary markers and kiosks at the Lehner Conservation Area, in order to guide maintenance activities, improve public access, and enhance the visitor experience.


The 2016 Annual Town Meeting voted under Article 32 to acquire the Lehner Conservation Area (using $500,000 of available CPC funds and borrowing of $4,500,000 against future CPC funds).  This land is now managed by the Conservation Commission.  The 51-acre property has frontage on Main Street and South Pleasant Street, with the latter being the primary access point.  The property abuts several private, residential properties, as well as the Hingham Land Conservation Trust’s Jacobs Meadow.  A wooden sign bearing the name of the property is located on South Pleasant Street; however, there is no way to post additional information about the property.


Temporary survey stakes that were installed in 2017 to mark the property boundary shared with 72 South Pleasant Street are no longer in place, causing some confusion.  Pressure treated posts that coordinate with an existing fence on the Lehner Conservation property will be installed along the north and west property boundary approximately every 40 feet.  These permanent guideposts will facilitate accurate property maintenance and encourage visitors to access and enjoy the property in its entirety.


Additionally, two kiosks, identical to those funded by CPC in 2016 for other open space parcels in the Town, will be installed to make wayfinding and interpretive information, rules and regulations, and emergency contact information available to the public.


The Advisory Committee, the Board of Selectmen, and the Community Preservation Committee voted unanimously in support of this project.


4)  CPC recommends a grant of $40,000 for the Historic Commission to restore the Canterbury Street Cemetery, burial ground of three generations of the Barnes and Stoddard families, located at the intersection of Canterbury and Rockland Streets (Map 43, Lot 110).  Article 34 of the 2019 Annual Town Meeting authorized this site to be acquired by gift to the Town from the remaining distant heirs.  This grant would provide funds for cleanup of the landscape, gravestone assessment, and an initial (Phase I) conservation survey.


The current condition of the landscape is an overgrown mound with fallen trees, an overburden of leaves, briar, poison ivy, brush and debris, and involuntary tree growth.  The property is bordered by a failing stone wall and fallen wooden fence, and it has no clear route for accessibility. Headstones with engraved art, footstones, and natural stone grave markers are in disrepair with unstable footings and topplings, some now degraded with chips and fragments. The restoration process would include removing debris and overgrowth down to the soil level to identify evidence of stone and marker damage; conducting a conservation survey of the identified gravestones to determine necessary treatments; restoring gravestones with weather-resistant, synthetic adhesive in order to bond stone reassembly; establishing subsurface marker foundations to remount sunken gravestones; and structurally reinforcing gravestones with hidden pinning.  Restoration of this burial ground is for the benefit of genealogical and early sociological history of the Town, and to serve as an educational resource.


The Advisory Committee, the Board of Selectmen, and the Community Preservation Committee voted unanimously in support of this project.


5)  The South Shore Country Club Management Committee (“CCMC”) seeks $500,000 from CPC for design and construction plans to replace the now-defunct outdoor Town pool located at the South Shore Country Club (“SSCC”). 


Hingham has had a public Town pool facility since it acquired SSCC in 1988.  This pool, originally built in the 1950s and upgraded in the 1980s, was closed indefinitely in the fall of 2019 due to structural weaknesses. The Town and SSCC had worked diligently over the last five years to repair and maintain the aging pool, getting a number of additional years of safe operation out of the structure.  In its current condition, however, additional investment in the existing structure is not recommended.  Its failure has also necessitated a re-location of certain maintenance facilities at SSCC which were located partially under the pool itself [See Article 26].


This grant would fund design and construction documents for a replacement 8-lane, 25-yard outdoor Town pool with a zero-depth entry for children and those with special needs, a splash pad, and locker rooms.  Based on its overall plans for SSCC, the CCMC believes the optimum location for the facility is at the site of the existing tennis courts.  The tennis courts, which are approaching the end of their useful life, may be relocated elsewhere on the SSCC property. 

The preliminary estimate of the total cost of construction is approximately $7,000,000, which includes the $500,000 requested in this Article, $5,600,000 in hard costs, $285,000 in additional soft costs, and a $635,000 contingency.  These amounts are subject to adjustment and refinement based on the design and construction document development process.  This $500,000 request represents 9% of the estimated $5,600,000 hard cost of construction which the CCMC believes is a reasonable percentage.  A subsequent Town Meeting would need to approve funds for the actual construction of the pool.


Unlike an earlier CCMC proposal to 2018 Annual Town Meeting, this proposal is for a seasonal outdoor pool facility, not a year-round, partially indoor facility.  Based on additional input and analysis, the CCMC determined that a seasonal pool facility is more financially viable than a year-round facility and would meet the needs of Hingham residents who primarily want access to an outdoor pool in the warmer months.  SSCC and the Hingham Recreation Commission (“Rec”) operated the now-closed pool at roughly break-even over the past few years and, based on historical operating data, the CCMC projects break-even (or better) operating results with a new seasonal pool, excluding the capital costs of construction.


The replacement Town pool would be designed to accommodate a detachable “bubble” that would permit winter use of the lap pool under the bubble.  The CCMC may privately fundraise for the cost of a bubble in future years.  The cost of the bubble itself is not included in the $7,000,000 estimated construction cost.  Should private funds be secured for the bubble, there remains an open question as to a sustainable financial model for the pool outside of the summer outdoor use season.


The CCMC’s efforts to address the challenges of the now-defunct Town pool are worth noting. An affirmative Vote under Article 18 of the 2017 Annual Town Meeting approved a $75,000 CPC grant to the CCMC for a feasibility study to assess the comparative costs and benefits of options to address the then-deteriorating swimming pool structure.  Those options included:  terminating SSCC pool operations; repairing/replacing the existing pool; and exploring several pool configurations at a new location within SSCC (i.e. outdoor pool, indoor pool, and indoor/outdoor facility).


Based on the completed feasibility study and other subsequent input, the CCMC concluded the following:


It is important that Hingham have a public Town pool, as it benefits residents of all ages and there is considerable Town support for a pool facility.  However, in a survey, residents were not asked their willingness to pay increased property taxes for a new pool.

A pool helps drive other business at SSCC, such as the restaurant.

Constructing a new pool facility in the current pool location is not advisable.


The CCMC sought and received an affirmative Vote under Article 17 of the 2018 Annual Town Meeting for a CPC grant in the amount of $300,000 for design and construction documents for a new year-round pool facility that included a lap pool enclosed by a building rather than a detachable bubble.  At the time, based on input from the Board of Selectmen (“BOS”) and the Advisory Committee, the CCMC agreed to not expend the $300,000 until certain conditions were met to the satisfaction of a majority of the BOS.  If the conditions were not met, the grant funds were to be returned to CPC for use on future projects.


These conditions, as incorporated into the vote on Article 17 of the 2018 Annual Town Meeting, were:


Private pledges or donations in the amount of $350,000 have been raised to match the CPC grant of $300,000.

The feasibility study has been completed and a sustainable operating plan for the facility has been developed.

CCMC and the BOS have agreed on a path forward to fund the capital required to construct the facility.  Capital funding sources may include some or all of the following:  private donations; new debt issued by SSCC; and new debt issued by the Town on behalf of the SSCC. 


While the CCMC and Friends of South Shore Country Club (“FSSCC”), a non-profit organization established to raise private funds to support SSCC, raised roughly half of the Article 17 (2018 Annual Town Meeting) required matching funds from supportive citizens, ultimately, they were unable to raise all of the required amount.  As a result, the $300,000 grant was returned to CPC, as were all donations made to FSSCC by private citizens.


During the fundraising effort, it became apparent to the CCMC and the FSSCC that, while there is considerable support for a Town pool in Hingham, residents/prospective donors believe that replacing a Town asset that benefited all residents of the Town, such as an outdoor pool, should be paid for by the Town, not by private donations.  CCMC scaled back the scope of the pool project from a year-round to a seasonal facility and applied to CPC for this grant. 


If conditions similar to those imposed in 2018 were to be suggested for the current FY2020 grant request, the CCMC would argue that the first condition would be unusual for replacement of a Town asset; the second condition has been met; the third condition is ultimately a question for the Town, namely does the Town want to borrow money to again have a Town pool?


In considering this grant, the CPC did not suggest a matching funds requirement nor has CPC typically required CPC recreation projects to match grants with private donations. In 2013, CPC contributed $50,000 to the larger Hingham High School athletic fields project which included a private funding component (Article 11 of the 2013 Annual Town Meeting), but CPC funding was not contingent on private fundraising.


This Article is not a vote to approve construction of a new pool per se.  Any additional Town or SSCC resources needed for construction will require approval at a subsequent Town Meeting.  If this grant is approved, the CCMC currently anticipates asking the 2021 Annual Town Meeting for funds to construct the pool based on the refined design and cost estimates developed pursuant to this grant. The CCMC estimates construction would take one year from approval of construction funding.


While funding for this Article will come from CPC funds, construction funds will likely have to come from the Town.  Assuming 2020 Annual Town Meeting approves borrowing to finance the construction of a new maintenance facility at SSCC (see Article 26), SSCC’s debt service capacity will be directed to repaying that obligation and SSCC will not have the financial capacity to support additional debt related to the pool.  As a result, funds to ultimately construct the pool would likely require borrowing by the Town and repayment by all Town taxpayers.  Low interest rates notwithstanding, repayment could necessitate a property tax increase. Town borrowing for pool construction would require a two-thirds affirmative vote at a subsequent Town Meeting.


Given other large capital projects being considered by the Town, some Advisory Committee members questioned the Town’s willingness to pay (via new taxes) for a pool in addition to other new projects.  Other Advisory Committee members countered that the only way to know for sure is to put the question before the Town for a vote and let Town Meeting demonstrate its appetite (or lack thereof) for this first step in replacing the Town’s public pool.


Should construction funding be delayed by voters at a subsequent Town Meeting, the CCMC believes the work done pursuant to this grant would still have value if and when construction is approved.


The SSCC pool had more than 13,000 visits each summer and more than 200 family memberships in recent years.  Working with the Rec, the SSCC pool was integrated into the activities at the Rec’s well-attended summer camps.  Now, without swimming as an activity, it is possible that enrollment at the Rec’s SSCC summer camp will decline.  In the parlance of recent conversations surrounding capital projects in Hingham, the CCMC characterizes replacing Hingham’s seasonal Town pool as a “need” rather than a “want.”


Of the nineteen “benchmark” communities that Hingham compares itself to, eleven have a municipal aquatic facility and seven of the eleven are indoor/outdoor facilities.


The Advisory Committee voted 10-2-1 in support of this project. The Board of Selectmen and the CPC voted unanimously in support of this project. 

 

6)  The Congregation of Second Parish (“CSP”) seeks $32,030 from CPC for restoration of each of the faces of the four tower clocks at Second Parish, located at 685 Main Street.  


Built in 1742 and located in the historic Glad Tidings Plain, Second Parish is the second oldest public building in Hingham.  The tower clocks were added to the church in 1881, making the clock faces 139 years old.  More than a century of weather exposure has led to deterioration in the structural components of the clock faces, necessitating the proposed repairs.


CSP is in the middle of a multi-phase steeple restoration project that was initiated in part by a need to fix damaging leaks into the church’s sanctuary originating in the steeple.  Repairs have already been made to the bell tower and, in addition to the proposed clock face work hereunder, there will be repair work to the apex of the church above the main entrance.  In total, the budget for the entire steeple restoration project is nearly $100,000 making this grant less than one-third of the total cost.  Additional funds are being provided by members of the church and others.


It is worth noting that the Vote under Article 18 of the 2017 Annual Town Meeting approved a CPC grant to the Hingham Historical Commission to repair the mechanisms (as distinct from the faces) of the four Hingham tower clocks, located at Second Parish, New North Meeting House, the Congregational Church and the William Fearing Building (a.k.a. “Dependable Cleaners”).  With respect to the Second Parish repair, the comment from the 2017 Warrant reads: “the project scope includes inspection of all four clock components, i.e. three clock movements in the tower and a master clock on the first floor.”  In other words, the clock faces were not included in the scope of work, and therefore, were not evaluated as part of the 2017 project. 


In addition, CSP was not directly involved in the 2017

project, and only provided its consent to the Historical Commission’s mechanism repair efforts as required by an 1889 Town Warrant Article that authorized the Selectmen to “take charge of all the public clocks in the Town and to charge the expense of keeping them in order and running to incidental expenses, provided the owners of the buildings in which said clocks are located shall give their consent thereto.”


Given the 1889 Article, a case could be made that the Town, not CPC, should pay to repair the clock faces if that is reasonably assumed to be part of “keeping [the clocks] in order.” However, given that CPC previously funded repairs to the mechanisms of the four tower clocks, there is precedent for a grant of this nature and the need is acute.


The Advisory Committee voted unanimously in support of this project. The Board of Selectmen voted 2-0-1 in support of this project. The Community Preservation Committee voted unanimously in support of this project.

 

     RECOMMENDED: That the Town appropriate or set aside for later spending funds as recommended by the Community Preservation Committee as follows:

 

Appropriate $123,400 from the Community Affordable Housing Trust and $148,900 from the Community Preservation General Fund, for a total of $272,300, to be used by the Hingham Affordable Housing Trust for the HAHT Opportunity Fund; 

 

Appropriate $75,000 from the Community Preservation General Fund to be used by the Hingham Recreation Commission to repair the tennis courts at Plymouth River School located at 0 High Street, Map 124/Lot 43;

 

Appropriate $8,000 from the Community Preservation General Fund to be used by the Hingham Conservation Commission to re-survey the property boundary of the Lehner Conservation Area, erect two way-finding kiosks, and mark with fence posts a boundary between the Lehner Conservation Area and a private property located at 0, 32, and 56  South Pleasant Street, Map 137/Lots 1, 18, & 21b;

 

Appropriate $40,000 from the Community Preservation General Fund to be used by the Hingham Historical Commission to clear the land and restore gravestones at the Canterbury Street Cemetery located at the intersection of Canterbury and Rockland Streets, Map 43, Lot 110;

 

Appropriate $500,000 from the Community Preservation General Fund to be used by the South Shore Country Club for the design and construction documents of a new pool to be located at 274 South Street, Map 70/Lot14;

 

Appropriate $32,030 from the Community Preservation General Fund to be used by the Congregation of Second Parish to restore the tower clock faces located at 685 Main Street, Map 126/Lot 47.

 

     ARTICLE 19:  Will the Town appropriate the sum of $772,000, as recommended by the Community Preservation Committee, to be used by the Hingham Historical Society to help purchase the Benjamin Lincoln House located at 181 North Street, Map 61/Lot 12, in order to repurpose the property as a museum, and to meet such appropriation by a) expending $32,713 from the Community Preservation Historic Preservation Reserve and $243,956 from the Community Preservation General Fund and b) authorizing the Town Treasurer, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen, to borrow $495,331, together with the costs of borrowing, under M.G.L. c. 44B, or any other enabling authority and to issue bonds or notes of the Town therefor; to carry out the purposes of this article, authorize the Selectmen and the Community Preservation Committee to enter into a grant agreement with the Hingham Historical Society, or act on anything relating thereto.

(Inserted at the request of the Community Preservation Committee)


     COMMENT:  Benjamin Lincoln (1733-1810) is Hingham’s Revolutionary War hero and arguably its most notable citizen.  The Benjamin Lincoln House (“House”), 181 North Street, was his lifelong home.  It is believed to have been built by Lincoln’s great-grandfather in 1665.   The House is located in the Federal Lincoln Historic District and Hingham’s Lincoln Historic District.  The House also is on the National Register of Historic Places.  The House is subject to a historic preservation restriction that runs with the land and was granted to Historic New England, an organization dedicated to saving homes of particular significance.  The House has been in one family for 11 generations; Lincolns and their descendants have lived in and maintained the home for over 375 years. 


The purchase of the House qualifies for historic preservation funding under Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 44B, the Massachusetts Community Preservation Act (“CPA”) for the acquisition of historic property.  Approval of this Article will allow the Town to grant the Hingham Historical Society $772,000 towards the purchase of the House.  The Article authorizes spending $32,713 from the Community Preservation Historic Preservation Reserve Fund and $243,956 from the Community Preservation General Fund.  The Article also authorizes the Town to issue bonds to fund an additional $495,331 for the acquisition.  The recipient of the grant will be the Hingham Historical Society, Inc. (“Society”), a nonprofit 501(c) (3) corporation.


The Society has proven itself to be a worthy steward of Hingham’s most precious historical assets.  The Society owns and operates the Hingham Heritage Museum and the Old Ordinary Campus, which includes the 1686 Old Ordinary, the 1901 Annex, and the 1685 Fort House.  In 1966, the Society saved Old Derby from destruction.


The Community Preservation Committee (“CPC”) believes this project is worthy of a substantial investment by the Town for three primary reason.  First, the House is a physical embodiment of Benjamin Lincoln’s historical significance to Hingham and provides unique insight into his life and Hingham’s culture at the time.  Much of the home has been untouched since his day.  Second, the house is a National Historic Landmark, the highest designation by the National Park Service for properties that have maintained their historic integrity.  The House has attracted the attention of leading national historic preservation organizations such as Winterthur, Colonial Williamsburg, and the Museum of Fine Arts.  It anchors Hingham’s Lincoln Historic District and will serve as an exceptional resource for the study of both Hingham and American history.  Third, the location of the property is part of a developing historical campus just off Hingham Square and this acquisition will assist in the continuing development of Hingham as a center for historic tourism.  The Society’s investment in Hingham’s historical assets has helped maintain the unique streetscape of Hingham and has contributed to the continued vibrancy of foot traffic in Hingham Square. 


The conditions for the disbursement of the grant funds will be set forth in the CPA grant agreement, which is entered into between the CPC, the Board of Selectmen, and the Society.  These conditions will include the Society obtaining all needed permits from the Town to convert the property from residential use to a museum prior to disbursement, requirements for the Society to grant and/or maintain preservation restrictions on the property, and provisions for public access.  The Society intends to provide public access to the House, but the nature of this access will be determined by the Society’s Board of Directors in consultation with recognized authorities in the field of historic preservation.  Transitioning the House from a private dwelling to a public building will require time and effort by the Society and the Town to ensure the House is compliant with Hingham’s codes for a public building.  The Society has engaged the Board of Selectmen, Town Administrator, Town Counsel, and the various permitting Boards to begin this process.  In the unlikely event that the Society were to decide to sell the property, the Town will be granted the right of first refusal and/or reimbursement to the Town of monies spent.


Once acquired, the ongoing repair and maintenance of the House will be the sole responsibility of the Society. The Society takes its stewardship of the property very seriously; when this opportunity presented itself, it immediately began seeking private contributions for an endowment to cover maintenance expenses (which will be the responsibility of the Society) with a goal of $1 million by June 2020.  By March 1, 2020, the Society had pledges equaling almost half its goal.  The Society is also investigating grant opportunities for improvements required for public access. In general, grants for historic properties are for maintenance and improvements, not acquisition, and are available only to current owners of the property. 


This project is time sensitive; the current owners agreed to give the Society until June 2020 to pursue funding to acquire the House.  If the Society is unable to raise the funds for the acquisition by June 2020, the House will be offered for private sale. 


The purchase price of the House is $972,000 which is below the appraised value of $1.2 million.  CPC is recommending a grant of $772,000; $276,669 would be provided by existing CPC funds.  An additional $495,331 will be required, and it is recommended that this amount be raised through the issuance of general obligation bonds by the Town.  This bond would be retired with anticipated CPA funds. The yearly expenditure of CPA funds needed to retire the bonds would be less than funds CPC expects to have available in its historic preservation reserve each year. Thus, bonding will not increase taxes or take away from other areas of the Town budget.  In the unlikely event that the Town were unexpectedly to repeal Article 38 of its By-law (by which it adopted the CPA), Massachusetts General Laws chapter 44B, section 16 requires the Town to continue to raise enough money through CPC surcharges to pay off its outstanding bonds.  If the CPC By-law were repealed, taxes would not increase as the surcharge would phase out as the bonds were retired.


Approval of this Article requires a two-thirds vote of Town Meeting.


The Advisory Committee voted 9-0-1 in support of this Article.  The Board of Selectman voted unanimously in support of this Article. The Community Preservation Committee voted 8-0-1 in support of this Article. 


     RECOMMENDED:  That the Town appropriate an amount not in excess of $772,000, as recommended by the Community Preservation Committee, to be used by the Hingham Historical Society to help purchase the Benjamin Lincoln House located at 181 North Street, Map 61/Lot 12, in order to repurpose the property as a museum open to the public, and to meet such appropriation by a) expending $32,713 from the Community Preservation Historic Preservation Reserve and $243,956 from the Community Preservation General Fund and b) authorizing the Town Treasurer, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen, to borrow $495,331, together with the costs of borrowing, under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 44B, or any other enabling authority and to issue bonds or notes of the Town therefor.  In order to carry out the purposes of this vote, the Board of Selectmen and the Community Preservation Committee are authorized to enter into a grant agreement with the Hingham Historical Society. 

 

Any premium received by the Town upon the sale of any bonds or notes approved by this vote, less any such premium applied to the payment of the costs of issuance of such bonds or notes, may be applied to the payment of costs approved by this vote in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws chapter 44, section 20, thereby reducing the amount authorized to be borrowed to pay such costs by a like amount. 

 

     ARTICLE 20:   Will the Town accept the provisions of Chapter 32, Section 103 (j), so as to increase the maximum base on which the COLA (Cost-of-Living Adjustment) is calculated to $14,000, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted at the request of the Hingham Retirement Board)

 

     COMMENT:  A cost-of-living adjustment (“COLA”) is granted to Hingham benefit recipients (retirees and survivors) by vote of the Hingham Retirement Board (“HRB”).  COLAs are calculated by applying an adjustment factor to an approved base amount.  Annually, the State Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (“PERAC”) files a report with the Legislature detailing the increase or decrease in the Consumer Price Index (“CPI”).  The HRB then votes on whether to grant a COLA based on the increase in the CPI or 3%, whichever is less.  The COLA applies only to a base amount.  The HRB has declined to vote a COLA only four times since 1971.


Massachusetts General Law chapter 32, section 103(j) provides a local option for a retirement board to raise the maximum base amount on which the COLA is calculated. The HRB may (subject to Town Meeting approval) increase the maximum base amount in multiples of $1,000. From 1998 to 2014, the COLA base amount for Hingham was $12,000.  In 2015, Town Meeting approved an increase of the COLA base to $13,000, thereby allowing a maximum annual COLA payment of $390 per beneficiary.  A survey of FY 2020 COLA bases in all 104 Massachusetts retirement systems indicates there are 27 systems with a $12,000 base, 24 with a $13,000 base (including Hingham), 29 with a $14,000 base, 8 with a $15,000 base, 7 with a $16,000 base, 4 with a $17,000 base, and 5 with an $18,000 base.  Raising the COLA base amount to $14,000 will put Hingham in the middle of the COLA bases for Massachusetts retirement systems, including those in our benchmark communities.


If the HRB grants a COLA increase and Town Meeting approves the new base, it will take effect on July 1, 2020.  At the current base, the allowance for a benefit recipient may increase by a maximum of $390 per year (3% of $13,000), or $32.50 per month for each eligible retiree and survivor of the Hingham Retirement System.  By voting to increase the base to $14,000, the HRB has the discretion to grant up to a 3% increase in the allowance or an annual increase of $420. This translates to a maximum additional benefit of $35.00 per person, per month.


The Town’s actuarial consultants (KMS Actuaries of Manchester, NH) have analyzed the impact on the Hingham Retirement System’s liabilities and funding if an increase in the base to $14,000 is approved by Town Meeting.  Using the most recently completed January 1, 2018 retirement fund valuation, the accrued liability is expected to increase by $747,100.  The impact for Fiscal Year 2021 will be to increase the necessary appropriation by $93,600.  Thus, if the new COLA base of $14,000 is approved by Town Meeting, the $93,600 will have to be transferred from available funds to meet the Fiscal Year 2021 obligation.  The Fiscal Year 2022 obligation would be appropriately accounted for in the budget for Fiscal Year 2022.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED:  That the Town accept the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 32, section 103 (j) and increase the maximum base on which the COLA (Cost-of Living Adjustment) is calculated to $14,000 and, provided further, that an appropriations increase of $93,600 for Fiscal Year 2021 be approved and transferred from available funds to meet the Fiscal Year 2021 obligation. 

 

     ARTICLE 21: Will the Town vote to alter the composition of the Citizens Advisory Board as previously established under Article 11 of the 2019 Annual Town Meeting by increasing the total number of members from five to six and by increasing the number of members nominated by the Town of Hull Board of Selectmen from one to two members, or act on anything relating thereto?


    COMMENT:  In 2019, Annual Town Meeting voted to purchase the Hingham Water Company.  Article 11 of the 2019 Annual Town Meeting provided the option for the Hingham Board of Selectmen to establish a Citizen’s Advisory Board (“CAB”) for the water company.  As contained in Article 11, the CAB would have a total of five members, three members from Hingham, one member from Hull, and one member from Cohasset.


One goal of establishing this advisory board was to enhance transparency as to how water rates are set.  A second goal was to provide a rate payer, who had an issue with water service, with access to local citizens on the CAB to address concerns.  The CAB, while advisory in nature, provides an avenue for two-way feedback between the ratepayer and the water company in addition to the ratepayer’s direct access to the water company management and operations contractor and to the Town Water Superintendent. 


As of 2017, there were 13,168 connections in Hingham’s water company:  8,196 connections in Hingham or 62%, 4,638 in Hull or 35%, and 334 connections in Cohasset or 2%.  Given the proportion of connections and feedback from the Hull Board of Selectmen, the Advisory Committee believes increasing the representation from Hull is appropriate.  The new composition would more accurately reflect the geographic distribution of rate payers in the water company.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this article.

    

     RECOMMENDED: that the Town alter the composition of the Citizens Advisory Board as previously established under Article 11 of the 2019 Annual Town Meeting by increasing the total number of members from five to six and by increasing the number of members nominated by the Town of Hull Board of Selectmen from one to two members.

 

     ARTICLE 22:   Will the Town accept chapter 40, section 42A through 42I of the Massachusetts General Laws so as to permit the addition of unpaid water charges to the real estate tax where the charges will be subject to the same interest rates and collection procedures as the taxes to which they are added, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)


     COMMENT: The approval of this Article will provide Hingham with a mechanism, used by other municipalities and presently used by the Hingham Sewer Commission, to collect unpaid water bills.  This Article is directly related to the impending operation of the Weir River Water System (the new name of the water company) by the Town.


Massachusetts General Laws chapter 40, section 42A (“M.G.L. c.40 § 42A”) permits a town whose voters accept the provisions of M.G.L. c.40 § 42A to 42F to establish a lien upon real estate where an owner or tenant fails to pay for water charges due the town.  The board or officer in charge of the water department or the collector of taxes certifies the charge for which a lien is in effect to the assessors and the charge is added to the tax on the property.  If the unpaid charge were not added to or committed as a tax, then the lien would expire on October 1 of the third year after which such charge became due.


Similarly, M.G.L. c.40 § 42G permits a town whose voters accept the provisions of M.G.L. c.40 § 42G to 42I to levy special assessments to meet the whole or part of the cost incurred in laying pipes in public and private ways for the conveyance or distribution of water to its inhabitants. The acceptance of these sections allows a town to establish a lien upon the parcels of land of the owner liable for the assessment.  The statutes concerning special assessments are permissive. The Town is not required to make a special assessment.  By acceptance of those statutes, if the Town determined that a situation warranted a special assessment in the future, it would require Town Meeting to either have previously adopted a By-law or to vote to determine the rate and type of any assessment.  In the event that a special assessment was made in the future, all landowners who received a benefit from the laying of water pipes could be assessed for their construction whether the landowner decided to connect to such pipes or not.


When added to the real estate tax, the unpaid water charges and/or special assessments are then subject to the same interest rates and collection procedures as the real estate taxes to which they were added.  The lien for the unpaid water charges and for special assessments would then be valid for as long as the lien for the real estate tax as provided in M.G.L. c.60 § 37.


Acceptance of these statutory provisions does not preclude the collection of unpaid water charges or assessments by other legal means.  The intent is to obviate the time and expense of such other means of collection.


A similar article is expected to be submitted to the Hull Town Meeting.  Cohasset previously accepted these statutes.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED: That the Town accept Chapter 40, Sections 42A through 42I of the Massachusetts General Laws.

 

     ARTICLE 23:   Will the Town of Hingham vote to raise and appropriate, borrow or transfer from available funds, an amount not in excess of $2,700,000 to pay costs of designing, engineering, constructing, reconstructing, repairing, and improving the Weir River Water System, including the payment of all costs incidental and related thereto, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted at the request of the Board of Selectmen)


     COMMENT: This Article seeks funding for planned Fiscal Year 2021 capital investment in the Weir River Water System (” Water Company”).  No funds will be expended until the Town has completed the purchase of the Water Company from the Aquarion Water Company of Massachusetts, as approved by Vote under Article 10 of the 2019 Annual Town Meeting.


The Town’s financial model for the Water Company currently envisions a FY 2021 investment of $2,700,000 in water mains and other major capital items within the system. This annual amount is projected to increase by 5% every three years, though future investment amounts are subject to adjustment once the Town owns the Water Company and has been able to complete a more detailed capital study of the water system.


The Town intends to borrow the money to fund this investment amount, but debt service, i.e. repayment, will have no impact on taxpayers or the Town budget, per se, as it will be repaid by water ratepayers via the Water Company enterprise fund.


Approval of this Article requires a two-thirds vote of Town Meeting.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.   


     RECOMMENDED:  That the Town appropriate an amount not in excess of $2,700,000 to pay costs of designing, engineering, constructing, reconstructing, repairing, and improving the Weir River Water System.  To meet said appropriation, the Treasurer, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen, is authorized to borrow said sum under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 44, section 8, or any other enabling authority and to issue bonds or notes of the Town therefor. 

 

Any premium received by the Town upon the sale of any bonds or notes approved by this vote, less any such premium applied to the payment of the costs of issuance of such bonds or notes, may be applied to the payment of costs approved by this vote in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws chapter 44, section 20, thereby reducing the amount authorized to be borrowed to pay such costs by a like amount. 

 

     ARTICLE 24:  Will the Town raise and appropriate, borrow or transfer from available funds, a sum of money to be expended by the Board of Selectmen to fund an independent review of existing municipal and school facilities, which would include an analysis of space and service demands and deficiencies and provide a summary report detailing findings and providing options, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)


     COMMENT:  This review will analyze the current space utilization of 31 municipal and school buildings owned by the Town.  The results of the analysis will provide detailed information on space use options and order-of-magnitude estimates of the cost of those options.  It will serve as an important step in creating a long-term financial plan for the Town and in establishing long-term priorities.


A variety of school and municipal programs have outgrown their space, while certain municipal buildings, such as Town Hall, cannot support all the activities they house.  The Town is considering the long-term options for additional buildings, all of which entail significant capital commitments.  A first step in that process is to make the best use of existing buildings before taking on new and large financial obligations.  The results of the study have the potential to provide more immediate and lower-cost help to certain programs without having to wait for the approval and completion of a large capital project.


This analysis will not result in a full cost analysis of overall building maintenance, repair, or renovation needs.  It will be limited to pointing out the issues involved in a potential change in building use and a general estimate of associated costs (which could include capital expenses associated with building upgrades or new space construction).  The analysis will not include buildings whose use will not change, such as sewer pumping stations or the Memorial Bell Tower.  Finally, the study will not set priorities for the Town, rather it will provide the needed information for the Town to set its own priorities.


All stages of the study will be coordinated with existing Town planning activities, to include design of the study, review of results by department heads and Town committees, presentations to the public, and submission of the final report.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED:  That the Town appropriate from available reserves an amount not in excess of $300,000 for the purpose of funding an independent review of existing municipal and school facilities, which would include an analysis of space and service demands and deficiencies, and a summary report detailing findings, providing options, and estimating the general costs of those options.

 

     ARTICLE 25:  Will the Town raise and appropriate, borrow or transfer from available funds, a sum of money to be expended by the Board of Selectmen to be used for the design, engineering services, and renovation of the Town Hall data center, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)


     COMMENT:  The Town’s data center is a 10-foot by 23-foot closet on the third floor of Town Hall which was adapted for use as a data center.  With the expansion of technology, this room is no longer able to properly house the equipment that is required for the operation of the Town’s network.  It contains not only the server/infrastructure racks, but also a workspace, cabinets, and new, spare, and surplus equipment. There is insufficient space to safely service the equipment racks or to install large pieces of equipment, such as servers.  Besides insufficient space, the current location has several issues, including undersized HVAC and electrical systems and an inappropriate wet fire suppression system (instead of a clean agent dry system).  The weight bearing requirements should be evaluated by a structural engineer to determine if the current construction is sufficient or if any modifications, like a raised floor, should be put in place to distribute the weight over a wider area.


This Article would provide funds to renovate the entire IT Department space in Town Hall by expanding the data center and reconfiguring the office space to meet all of the department’s infrastructure and other requirements.  The new space will be properly sized for adequate, safe movement around the equipment and will have sufficient power/grounding, HVAC, stand-by power, fire protection, cabling support and physical security requirements.


Approval of this Article requires a two-thirds vote of Town Meeting.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED:  That the Town appropriate an amount not in excess of $296,000 to be expended by the Board of Selectmen to be used for the design, engineering services, and renovation of the Town Hall data center.  To meet said appropriation, the Treasurer, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen, is authorized to borrow said sum under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 44, section 7, or any other enabling authority and to issue bonds or notes of the Town therefor. 

 

Any premium received by the Town upon the sale of any bonds or notes approved by this vote, less any such premium applied to the payment of the costs of issuance of such bonds or notes, may be applied to the payment of costs approved by this vote in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws chapter 44, section 20 thereby reducing the amount authorized to be borrowed to pay such costs by a like amount.

 

     ARTICLE 26:  Will the Town raise and appropriate, borrow, or transfer from available funds a sum of money in the amount of $2,200,000 for the design and construction of a new maintenance facility for the South Shore Country Club, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted at the request of the South Shore Country Club Management Committee)


     COMMENT:  The current maintenance facility, which is used to store and repair equipment used in the daily operation of the South Shore Country Club (“the Club”), is housed in an enclosed area which sits underneath the swimming pool.  The pool was closed at the end of the 2019 season due to leaking water that endangered the safety of the maintenance facility below it.  The leaks, which occurred over an extended period despite efforts to seal them, caused damage to the concrete and reinforcing rods supporting the maintenance facility. This damage has been mitigated to allow for the continued usage of the facility and the cracks and repairs are constantly monitored by professionally installed “crack monitors” and visual inspection.  While the facility is currently being used, it is not a viable long-term solution for the needs of the Club.  In fact, it is subject to immediate closure if the cracks worsen. 


The Country Club Management Committee, along with Club management, have explored their options to replace the existing facility and this Article seeks to obtain funds to both design and build a new facility.  Preliminary work has identified the size and location of the building – 11,500 square feet and closer to the train tracks.  While final permits will not be obtained until after the design phase has been completed, no critical issues have been identified by the various Town Boards. The new facility will include a maintenance facility, storage for chemicals and equipment, office space, bathrooms, and an environmental management center to safely handle fuel, pesticides, and recycled water used to wash golf carts.  The public facing side of the building will be constructed to resemble a barn in order to more closely reflect the historic nature of the area and surrounding homes.  The Club will also hire a project manager to oversee construction of the facility.  Design and construction are expected to be completed within a year, so this Article asks for funds to cover both phases of the process.


While the Town will advance funding for the design and construction of the building, the Club will be responsible for the total cost of the building.  Revenues from golf operations are projected to be enough to enable the Club to repay any borrowings the Town undertakes on behalf of this project. 


Approval of this Article requires a two-thirds vote of Town Meeting.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED:  That the Town appropriate an amount of up to $2,200,000 for the design and construction of a new maintenance facility for the South Shore Country Club. To meet said appropriation, the Treasurer, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen, is authorized to borrow said sum under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 44, section 7, or any other enabling authority and to issue bonds or notes of the Town therefor.

 

     ARTICLE 27:  To determine whether the Town will vote to amend the Town of Hingham General By-laws by adding the following new Article:


TREE PRESERVATION BY-LAW


PURPOSE


The intent of the Tree Preservation By-law is to encourage the preservation and protection of trees by designating specific activities during which trees must be protected, and requiring mitigation for trees removed via replanting or collection of fees to support the Town’s tree planting and maintenance efforts.


DEFINITIONS


For the purposes of this Tree Preservation By-law, the following definitions shall apply:


Caliper: Diameter of a nursery tree trunk (in inches) as measured twelve (12) inches above the existing grade at the base of the tree.


Certified Arborist: A professional arborist possessing current certification issued by the International Society of Arboriculture (I.S.A.) and/or the Massachusetts Arborist Association (M.A.A.).

Diameter at Breast Height (DBH): The diameter of a tree trunk four and one-half (4.5) feet above the existing grade at the base of the tree. If a tree splits into multiple trunks below four and one-half (4.5) feet above the existing grade, the DBH shall be considered to be the measurement taken at the narrowest point beneath the split.


 Invasive Species: Any plant listed on the most recent version of the Massachusetts Prohibited Plant List as published by the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture.

 

Non-Exempt Lot: Any parcel of land within the Town not owned by the Town, the commonwealth, or any independent authority of the commonwealth, or by the federal government.


Overstory Tree: A tree which will generally reach a mature height of greater than 40 feet.

 

Protected Tree: Any existing tree with a DBH of six (6) inches or greater that has any portion of its trunk within a Non-Exempt Lot. Invasive Species (as defined herein) shall not be considered Protected Trees.


Reviewing Agent: Any agent(s) appointed in writing by the Select Board to review Tree Protection & Mitigation Plans. In the absence of any appointed agent, the Reviewing Agent shall refer to the Tree Warden. When appointing any Reviewing Agent, the Select Board shall be satisfied that the person has sufficient knowledge to perform the duties of the Reviewing Agent provided herein.


Rules and Regulations: The rules and regulations hereinafter promulgated by the Select Board as contemplated by Section 7 hereof.


Select Board: The governing body constituted by Article 5A of the Town of Hingham General By-laws.

 

Setback Area: The minimum front, side and rear yard setback area of a parcel in a residential zoning district as specified in Zoning By-law IV-A Schedule of Dimensional Requirements.


Tree Fund: An account established pursuant to (M.G.L. c. 44 § 53E½) for the deposit of contributions in lieu of tree replanting as required by this Tree Preservation By-law.


Tree Protection & Mitigation Plan: A plan submitted to the Reviewing Agent for approval prior to the commencement of demolition and/or construction on a property on which a Protected Tree is located, meeting the requirements set forth in Section 5.4.

 

Tree Removal: Mechanical demolition of a living tree, or any act (a) that has caused a tree to die within the previous 12 months or (b) is likely to cause significant decline or death as determined by the Reviewing Agent.

 

Tree Save Area: The area surrounding all Protected Trees sufficiently large to ensure the health of the Protected Tree(s), including their trunks, crowns, and root systems.


Tree Warden: The commissioner responsible for the care and maintenance of trees and parks for the Town’s Department of Public Works.


TOWN OF HINGHAM TREE FUND


There is hereby established a Town of Hingham Tree

Fund pursuant to M.G.L. c. 44 § 53E½. Any contributions collected per Section 5.2(b) of this Tree Preservation By-law shall be deposited in the Tree Fund. The Tree Fund shall be used solely for the purposes of buying, planting and maintaining trees within residential neighborhoods in the Town or on Town-owned property, and enforcing the provisions of the Tree Preservation By-law, including to the extent reasonably necessary, hiring personnel to administer and enforce the Tree Preservation By-law.


SCOPE AND APPLICABILITY


Non-Exempt Lots Applicability: It is prohibited to remove a Protected Tree during construction or within 18 months prior to application for a demolition or building permit for: (a) Demolition of an existing structure of 250 gross square feet or greater; (b) Construction of any building or structure on a vacant lot; or (c) Construction of one or more structures or additions to structures on a lot that increases the total footprint of all structures by 20% or greater, without compliance with this bylaw.


Exemptions: The requirements of this Tree Preservation By-law shall not apply to: (a) Those areas of property under the jurisdiction of the Wetlands Protection Act (Chapter 131 and 310 CMR); (b) Public Shade Trees pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 87; (c) Emergency projects necessary for public safety, health and welfare, as determined by the Reviewing Agent or the Town Tree Warden; (d) Trees severely damaged as the direct result of a natural disaster, Trees that are hazardous, or Trees currently infected by a disease or insect infestation of a permanent nature, in each case, as determined and confirmed in writing by a Certified Arborist.


Notice for tree removal: No person shall remove a tree on a Non-Exempt Lot without first providing notice of removal to the Tree Warden. Notices shall be made in writing on forms specified by the Tree Warden and shall not require the payment of any fee. The notice shall set forth the DBH and species of each tree to be removed. If the tree removed would be exempt from the provisions of the Tree Preservation Bylaw pursuant to Section 4.2(c) or Section 4.2(d), the notice may be signed by a Certified Arborist confirming the condition of the tree to be removed. Obtaining certification by a Certified Arborist shall be at the sole discretion and expense of the owner of the Non-Exempt Lot; provided, however, if the notice is not so certified, the Tree Warden shall be entitled to presume that the tree qualified as a Protected Tree. The Tree Warden shall maintain the information contained in all such notices for a minimum period of eighteen (18) months from the date of such receipt, and shall share such information with the Reviewing Agent in the event a Tree Protection & Mitigation Plan is submitted by the owner of the property within eighteen (18) months of the date the notice of tree removal was provided.


TREE PROTECTION & MITIGATION

Protection: Each Protected Tree located within the Setback Area to be retained on property planned for demolition and/or construction activity shall be protected by the establishment of a fenced off Tree Save Area. The Tree Save Area shall be delineated within the submitted Tree Protection & Mitigation Plan, shall be installed prior to any demolition or site work, and shall remain in place until work is completed on the property, excluding final landscaping. The applicant shall submit written documentation, prepared, dated and signed by a Certified Arborist, to the Reviewing Agent confirming that the required Tree Save Area has been installed as identified in the Tree Protection & Mitigation Plan before work on the property commences.

Mitigation: The removal of a Protected Tree(s) from a property in connection with one or more of the circumstances set forth in Section 4.1 shall require mitigation based upon aggregate DBH of Protected Tree(s) removed. Mitigation shall be achieved by satisfying one or a combination of the following provisions:


Mitigation by Replanting of Trees: For each inch of DBH of the Protected Tree(s) removed, no less than one-half inch of caliper of new tree(s) shall be replanted in accordance with the following:


Each new tree must: (i) have a minimum caliper of three (3) inches, (ii) be a nursery quality tree, (iii) have a minimum of Zone 6 hardiness, (iv) be native to the region, and not be an Invasive Species, and (v) be an Overstory Tree species if the Protected Tree(s) being removed are an Overstory Tree species.

Such replanting, either on the applicant’s land or on land abutting the applicant’s land with the express written approval of the owner of such abutting land, shall occur at such spacing as is reasonably acceptable to the Tree Warden, and shall occur prior to the issuance of a Final Certificate of Occupancy, or be otherwise assured at such time to the satisfaction of the Reviewing Agent in a manner consistent with the Rules and Regulations.


Contribution to the Town of Hingham Tree Preservation Fund in lieu of Mitigation:


For each inch of DBH of the Protected Tree(s) removed, and not mitigated in accordance with Section 5.2.1, the owner of the Property shall make a contribution to the Tree Fund in an amount calculated in accordance with Schedule A-1 based on the aggregate DBH of all Protected Tree(s) to be removed and not mitigated by replanting.

Upon application to the Select Board by the owner of a Non-Exempt Lot situated in a zoning district, other than a residential district, as specified in the Town’s Zoning By-law, the Select Board may, after public hearing, apply the reduced contribution schedule set forth in Schedule A-2, where the Select Board determines that the construction and Tree Removal serves the interest of the community and the reasons therefore are memorialized by the Select Board.

Tree Fund contributions shall be received by the Town prior to the issuance of all applicable permits.

The Select Board may, from time to time, increase the contribution schedule set forth in Schedules A-1 and A-2 after public hearing. Decreases or other amendments to Schedules A-1 or A-2 shall be approved at an Annual or Special Town Meeting.


Mitigation measures, whether by replanting or through contributions to the Tree Preservation Fund, shall be identified in the submitted Tree Protection and Mitigation Plan. The removal or proposed removal of a Protected Tree(s) that has been mitigated for, in conjunction with a previous applicable permit, shall not require additional mitigation under subsequent permits, unless such mitigation has not been completed or otherwise assured.


Unauthorized Removals: The removal of any Protected Tree not identified on the Tree Protection & Mitigation Plan shall require mitigation at the rate specified in Section 5.2. In addition, any person removing any Protected Tree not identified on the Tree Protection & Mitigation Plan in violation of this By-law shall be subject to a non-criminal disposition fine under M.G.L. Chapter 40, §21D as set forth in Section 6 below. Any such fines shall be paid to the Tree Preservation Fund.


Plan Review and Permit Issuance: Prior to the issuance of a permit in connection with one or more of the circumstances set forth in Section 4.1 on property on which a Protected Tree is located or was located within eighteen (18) months prior to application, the owner of the property shall submit a Tree Protection & Mitigation Plan to the Reviewing Agent along with the applicable application and fee as set forth in the Rules and Regulations. The Tree Protection & Mitigation Plan shall be a to-scale survey or site plan, along with any accompanying documentation and required certifications, that indicates the following:


The shape and dimensions of the parcel of real property to be developed, together with the existing and proposed locations of structures and improvements, if any;


A tree plan showing the location, type and size of each protected tree indicating which protected tree(s) are to be removed, and the location, type and size of replacement trees;


The proposed relocation of any existing protected tree with a statement prepared by a Certified Arborist explaining how each such protected tree is to be relocated and maintained;


The location of existing and proposed underground or overhead utility services, existing and proposed roadways, bikeways, walkways and parking areas;


Any proposed grade changes which might adversely affect or endanger any protected tree with a statement prepared by a Certified Arborist explaining how each such protected tree shall be protected and maintained;


The proposed method of protecting the remaining protected trees during the course of the construction;


The amount to be contributed to the Tree Fund to mitigate the removal of a Protected Tree(s), if applicable;


An affidavit executed by the owner(s) of the property under penalty of law of any Protected Trees removed from the Non-Exempt Lot during the previous 18 months. If the owner(s) did not own the Non-Exempt Lot for the entire 18-month period, such affidavit may be made to the knowledge of the owner; and


Such other information as may be required by the Rules and Regulations.


Re-Submission: If demolition or construction has not commenced within twelve (12) months of the date that a Tree Protection & Mitigation Plan was submitted for a property, or if removal of a previously unidentified Protected Tree is necessary during the course of construction, an amended Tree Protection & Mitigation Plan shall be submitted identifying any changes from the previous plan and associated mitigation measures.


Reviewing Agent Action: If the Tree Protection & Mitigation Plan is consistent with the protection and mitigation requirements contained herein and any established Rules and Regulations, and applicable Tree Fund contributions have been submitted, the Reviewing Agent shall notify the appropriate Town Department. If the proposal does not meet or satisfy these requirements, the Reviewing Agent shall notify the applicant and the appropriate Town Department that all applicable permits shall not be issued until the requirements are met. If the Reviewing Agent fails to act on an application within sixty (60) days after the application has been made, it shall be deemed to be approved.


Maintenance of Protected and Replanted Trees:


Protected Trees: Each Protected Tree retained shall be maintained in good health for a period of no less than twenty-four (24) months from the date of Final Inspection, or issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy if applicable. Should such tree die or significantly decline in the opinion of the Tree Warden within this twenty-four (24) month period, the owner of the property shall be required to provide mitigation consistent with the requirements for the removal of a Protected Tree as contained herein within nine (9) months from said determination.


Replanted Trees: All new trees planted to mitigate the removal of Protected Tree(s) shall be maintained in good health for a period of no less than twenty-four (24) months from the date of planting. Should such tree die within this twenty-four (24) month period, the owner of the property shall be responsible for replacing the tree with a tree equal to or greater than the size of the original Replanted Tree at installation; such replacement tree shall be planted within nine (9) months of the death or serious decline of the original Replanted Tree.


ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT


Enforcement: The administration and enforcement of this Tree Preservation By-law is the responsibility of the Tree Warden.


Non-Criminal Disposition: A person, individually or by his servant or agent, who violates any provision of this By-law may be penalized by a non-criminal disposition pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 40, Section 21D and the Town of Hingham non-criminal disposition By-law.


Fines: The following penalties shall apply:


First violation:

$100 fine

Second violation:

$200 fine

Third and subsequent violations:

$300 fine


Such fines shall be in addition to any required mitigation or contribution to the Tree Fund.  Each day a violation continues constitutes a separate violation. A violator shall not be penalized for more than one violation per day.


Appeals: Any person who has been aggrieved by refusal, order, or decision of the Reviewing Agent, or Tree Warden, may appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals within twenty (20) days from the date of such refusal, order, or decision.


RULES AND REGULATIONS


The Select Board may promulgate or amend Rules and Regulations which pertain to the administration of this Tree Preservation By-law, and shall file a copy of said rules in the office of the Town Clerk. Such Rules and Regulations may prescribe the size, form, additional contents, style, and number of copies of plans and specifications, the procedure for the submission and approval of such plans, and the procedure for determining final compliance with these regulations. The adoption or amendment of Rules and Regulations shall be after a public hearing to receive comments on the proposed or amended Rules and Regulations. The public hearing shall be advertised once in a newspaper of general local circulation, at least fourteen (14) days prior to the date of the public hearing.


SEVERABILITY CLAUSE


If any provision of this By-law is declared unconstitutional or illegal by final judgment, order or decree of the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth, the validity of the remaining provisions of this By-law shall not be affected thereby.


Nothing in this By-law shall be construed to restrict, amend, repeal, or otherwise limit the application or enforcement of existing Town of Hingham By-laws, including Town of Hingham Rules and Regulations Governing the Subdivision of Land, or laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

 

(Inserted at the request of Priya Howell and others.

Schedule A-1

Default Contribution Rate Schedule

 

Aggregate of DBH of Protected Tree(s) Removed and not mitigated is:

Contribution Rate Per Inch

Calculation Example

No more than 25"

$150 per inch

Aggregate of DBH of Protected Tree(s) Removed and not mitigated is 10”:

10 x $150 = $1,500 contribution

Greater than 25" but no more than 50"

$150 per inch 1"-25"

$250 per inch 26"-50"

Aggregate of DBH of Protected Tree(s) Removed and not mitigated is 30”:

(25 x $150) + (5 x $250) = $5,000 contribution

Greater than 50" but no more than 75"

$150 per inch 1"-25"

$250 per inch 26"-50"

$350 per inch 51"-75"

Aggregate of DBH of Protected Tree(s) Removed and not mitigated is 55”:

(25 x $150) + (25 x $250) + (5 x $350) = $11,750 contribution

Greater than 75"

$150 per inch 1"-25"

$250 per inch 26"-50"

$350 per inch 51"-75"

$400 per inch thereafter

Aggregate of DBH of Protected Tree(s) Removed and not mitigated is = 100”:

(25 x $150) + (25 x $250) + (25 x $350) + (25 x $400) = $28,750 contribution


Schedule A-2

Non-Residential with Finding of Community Benefit

Contribution Rate Schedule

 

Aggregate of DBH of Protected Tree(s) Removed and not mitigated is:

Contribution Rate Per Inch

Calculation Example

No more than 25"

$150 per inch

Aggregate of DBH of Protected Tree(s) Removed and not mitigated is 10”:

10 x $150 = $1,500 contribution

Greater than 25" but no more than 50"

$150 per inch 1"-25"

$250 per inch 26"-50"

Aggregate of DBH of Protected Tree(s) Removed and not mitigated is 30”:

(25 x $150) + (5 x $250) = $5,000 contribution

Greater than 50"

$150 per inch 1"-25"

$250 per inch 26"-50"

$300 per inch thereafter

Aggregate of DBH of Protected Tree(s) Removed and not mitigated is 100”:

(25 x $150) + (25 x $250) + (50 x $300) = $25,000 contribution

 

     COMMENT:  This Article seeks to encourage the preservation of trees on private property where significant demolition or construction is occurring by amending the Town’s General By-laws. 


Hingham has held the designation as a Tree City USA, granted by the National Arbor Day Foundation, for over 30 years.  With respect to shade trees, the Town observes Massachusetts General Laws chapter 87 and pursuant to that statute has a Tree Replacement Policy and Tree Ordinance adopted in 2004. The Department of Public Works has regulations concerning Street Trees.  The Town Rules and Regulations has policies for governing subdivision of land which provide for review and consideration of the limits of clearing in a subdivision.  Tree removal and planting are part of every Site Plan Review by the Planning Board.  The Town permitting boards (Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board, Conservation, and Board of Health) all consider projects individually and work to mitigate impacts to the landscape.  The Conservation Commission’s Tree Removal and Replacement Policy regulates construction activity and tree removal within 100’ of a wetland and 200’ of a river or stream on both public and private property.


The proposed By-law is narrow in scope.  It applies only to private property and does not apply to any public safety emergency. The By-law would be triggered by any one of three situations: demolition of a building of 250 square feet or more, building on a vacant lot, or increasing the footprint of a structure by more than 20%.  Data on the historical number of projects which would meet these criteria is not readily available but the Department of Community Planning estimates the number is twenty or less per year.  Historical data on the number of qualifying trees actually lost in the course of prior projects is also not readily available. The proposal raises private property right concerns - what owners can do with trees on their own property. 


Assuming that additional regulation of tree preservation would provide a benefit, the larger question is whether such regulation should be in the form of the proposed By-law or if the By-law could be improved with additional data and input from Town stakeholders.  The Citizen Petition for the proposed By-law was received in the Selectmen’s Office on January 13, 2020.  Typically, a proposed By-law would receive scrutiny from the Town administration, the Selectmen, and all potentially involved Town departments.  Such scrutiny, public hearings, and public debate generally serve the Town well in referring By-laws and mitigating against unintended consequences.  This process has not occurred with respect to this Article.


The Community Planning Department (“the Department”), comprised of staff and department heads from the Building, Zoning, Planning, Conservation, and Historic Departments, does not presently support this Article.  The Department suggests a determination of need based on a review of existing regulations and practices.  It questions potential exposure to its staff concerning personal harm or liability to the Town from entry into private property as proposed.  It also has concerns about enforcement and dispute resolution.  It believes that further regulation of construction on private property should be through a Zoning By-law or through the Town’s Rules and Regulations governing the subdivision of land, not a General By-law.  The Department of Public Works (which includes the Tree Warden) expressed concerns regarding its employee’s entry onto private property, enforcement, and added time and expense.


Additional issues include whether regulations would be necessary for the implementation of the By-law and whether such regulations should be prepared along with a proposed By-law. The proposed By-law speaks to regulations but no regulations have been prepared.  Additionally, the financial impact on both private property owners and Town departments should be assessed before any changes are made to the Town By-laws.


The Advisory Committee believes that the preservation of trees within the Town is and will remain an issue in the future particularly in view of climate change.  The Advisory Committee supports the establishment of a working group or committee for the study of the need for new tree regulations or to modify existing Town tree regulations and to determine the content of any By-law or regulation determined to be appropriate.  The majority of the Advisory Committee believes that the establishment of such a working group or committee should be left to the discretion of the Board of Selectmen, after that Board has had an opportunity to determine whether such a study would fall within the purview of existing Town Departments or committees or whether a separate working group or committee is appropriate.  The minority of the Advisory Committee thought the establishment of a committee should be mandatory.


The Selectmen voted 2-0 in favor of No Action. The Advisory Committee voted 10-3 in favor of No Action.


     RECOMMENDATION:  That No Action be taken on this Article.

 

     ARTICLE 28: Will the Town approve an Agreement for Payment In Lieu of Taxes beginning in Fiscal Year 2020 by and between TGC III MA Portfolio Operating, LLC (as assigned to TGC III MA Portfolio Operating 1, LLC) and the Town of Hingham for the solar project located at the MBTA Nantasket Junction Station, 190 Summer Street, Hingham, MA, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)


     COMMENT: The Town has negotiated an agreement with TGC III MA Portfolio Operating, LLC (“the Developer”) for a payment in lieu of taxes (“PILOT”).  The Developer has a 20-year lease with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (“MBTA”) for the operation of a photovoltaic power plant at the Nantasket Junction Station, located at 190 Summer Street, Hingham, MA.  The agreement for the PILOT requires the approval by the Town of Hingham at its Annual Town Meeting during Fiscal Year 2020.  If approved, the initial payment attributable to Fiscal Year 2020 will be $8568.  Annual payments will increase in each successive year and in 2039 the annual payment will be $9,498.  The Developer’s PILOT to the Town has the effect of reducing the Town’s tax rate.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED:  That the Town approve an Agreement for Payment In Lieu of Taxes beginning in Fiscal Year 2020 by and between TGC III MA Portfolio Operating, LLC (as assigned to TGC III MA Portfolio Operating 1, LLC) and the Town of Hingham, made and entered into on July 1, 2019, for the solar project located at the MBTA Nantasket Junction Station, 190 Summer Street, Hingham, MA.

 

     ARTICLE 29:  Will the Town approve an Agreement for Payment In Lieu of Taxes beginning in Fiscal Year 2020 by and between TGC III MA Portfolio Operating, LLC (as assigned to TGC III MA Portfolio Operating 1, LLC) and the Town of Hingham for the solar project located at the MBTA West Hingham Station, 20 Fort Hill Road, Hingham, MA, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)


     COMMENT: The Town has negotiated an agreement with TGC III MA Portfolio Operating, LLC (“the Developer”) for a payment in lieu of taxes (“PILOT”).  The Developer has a 20-year lease with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (“MBTA”) for the operation of a photovoltaic power plant at the West Hingham Station, 20 Fort Hill Street, Hingham, MA.  The agreement for the PILOT requires the approval by the Town of Hingham at its Annual Town Meeting during Fiscal Year 2020. If approved, the initial payment attributable to Fiscal Year 2020 will be $5,601. Annual payments will increase in each successive year and in 2039 the annual payment will be $6,111.  The Developer’s PILOT to the Town has the effect of reducing the Town’s tax rate.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED:  That the Town approve an Agreement for Payment In Lieu of Taxes beginning in Fiscal Year 2020 by and between TGC III MA Portfolio Operating, LLC (as assigned to TGC III MA Portfolio Operating 1, LLC) and the Town of Hingham, made and entered into on July 1, 2019, for the solar project located at the MBTA West Hingham Station, 20 Fort Hill Street Hingham, MA.

 

     ARTICLE 30:  Will the Town grant The Hingham Cemetery Corporation permission to use for burial an approximately 2,470 square foot parcel of land abutting existing land of The Hingham Cemetery Corporation at the rear of the property at 24 South Street shown as Assessors Map 61, Lot 129, subject to the approval of the Board of Health of the town, as required by Section 34 of Chapter 114 of the Massachusetts General Laws, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted at the request of John Davenport and others)


     COMMENT:  This Article asks the Town to permit The Hingham Cemetery Corporation to use for burial purposes certain land (the “Donated Parcel”) abutting the Hingham Cemetery that the owner, Jonathan L. Bouvé of 24 South Street, has agreed to donate for the cemetery. The Town’s permission is required by Massachusetts General Laws chapter 131, section 34 (“M.G.L. c. 114, § 34”).


The Donated Parcel is a 2,470 square foot rectangular parcel that abuts the Hingham Cemetery on the parcel’s northeast side and southeast side, the back of the Hingham Historical Society’s property on the southwest side, and the remaining portion of Mr. Bouvé’s 24 South Street lot on the northwest side. The parcel is shown as “Parcel A” on a “Plan of Land for 24 South Street in Hingham, MA” dated December 16, 2019, a copy of which is on file with the Hingham Planning Board.


Use of the Donated Parcel as a cemetery requires review by several Town permitting boards.  M.G.L. c. 114, § 34 requires that the Board of Health provide written approval of the location of land intended for burial use following notification of all interested persons and a hearing.  On February 20, 2020, the Board of Health granted the necessary approval to use the Donated Parcel.  The Planning Board has also reviewed the plan that would create the Donated Parcel from the existing parcel at 24 South Street and endorsed it as not requiring approval under the subdivision control law.  Lastly, the Donated Parcel lies within Hingham’s Official and Open Space zoning district, in which cemetery use is permitted subject to an A1 special permit of the Zoning Board of Appeals.  If this Article is approved by Town Meeting, title to the Donated Parcel will be conveyed to The Hingham Cemetery Corporation, which then will need to apply for such a special permit.


The Hingham Cemetery, established circa 1672, is a 13-acre arboretum, park, and green space open to the public and enjoyed by residents of and visitors to the Town. The Town’s permission to use the Donated Parcel for burials will add significantly to the cemetery’s inventory of burial lots available for sale and will provide additional revenue for maintenance and care of its gardens, lawns, and trees, as well as the recently renovated Ames Chapel, for the enjoyment of residents of and visitors to the Town in perpetuity.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED: That the Town grant permission to The Hingham Cemetery Corporation to use for burial purposes an approximately 2,470 square foot parcel of land abutting existing land of The Hingham Cemetery Corporation at the rear of the property at 24 South Street shown as Assessors Map 61, Lot 129, said parcel being shown as “Parcel A” on a “Plan of Land for 24 South Street in Hingham, MA” dated December 16, 2019, a copy of which is on file with the Hingham Planning Board. 

 

     ARTICLE 31:  Will the Town amend the Zoning By-law of the Town of Hingham, adopted March 10, 1941, as heretofore amended as follows:


Item 1:  By amending Section I-I.a by deleting “I-I.6” and inserting “I-I.4” from the first sentence;


Item 2:  By amending Section I-I.b by deleting the first word “in” and inserting “In”; 


Item 3: By amending Section I-I.8.a to insert “For all projects requiring erosion control installation or any clearing” at the start of the first sentence;


Item 4:  By amending Section IV-B.6.b. to delete the existing text and insert “all projects that 1) create a land disturbance or an alteration of drainage patterns over an area greater than 5,000 square feet; or 2) create a land disturbance of more than 1,000 square feet in areas with slopes greater than 10%”;


or act on anything related thereto?

(Inserted at the request of the Planning Board)

 

     COMMENT: This Article proposes limited amendments to the site plan review provisions of the Zoning By-law. Section IV-B.6 of the Zoning By-law identifies projects subject to site plan review, while section I-I establishes procedures, standards of review, and related administrative matters.  The Planning Board is now proposing to amend the threshold for site plan review set forth in section IV-B.6.b by reducing the size of a land disturbance or alteration of a drainage pattern that would trigger such review from 20,000 square feet to 5,000 square feet. Thus, a project that would disturb land or alter drainage patterns over an area greater than 5,000 square feet will require site plan review.  The Planning Board also considered requiring site plan review for all projects that “create a land disturbance of more than 1,000 square feet in areas with slopes greater than 10%,” but ultimately decided to keep the current threshold of 2,500 square feet in areas with slopes greater than 10% unchanged.


The proposed decrease in the site plan review threshold was motivated in part by repeated expressions of concern from the Superintendent of the Department of Public Works (“DPW”) and from the Chief of Police about problems arising from erosion and stormwater drainage created by construction projects undertaken without site plan review and without methods for addressing potential drainage and siltation problems.  During its public hearings this year, the Board was advised of specific locations where construction or land alterations that had not undergone site plan review have resulted in stormwater drainage issues and/or excessive siltation on public ways or abutting properties.  Stormwater runoff and excessive siltation have required the DPW and the Police Department to address immediate problems, particularly ice build-up, in public ways.  Such problems have also required the DPW to clean the catch basins more frequently. Excessive discharges of siltation into the municipal stormwater system may put the Town at risk of fines for violation of its federal municipal separate storm sewer (“MS4”) permit. 


Last year the Planning Board elected to study further available options to prevent the occurrence of stormwater drainage and erosion control problems.  After additional consideration the Board has now determined that decreasing the threshold for site plan review is necessary to identify and mitigate, during the project design process, the potential adverse impacts of construction projects on neighbors and the public ways. The proposed amendment would accomplish two objectives: (1) confront potential problems in the planning stage when they can most effectively and efficiently be resolved; and (2) place responsibility for addressing the potential problems on the property owner who is doing the development, not the Town or property abutters.


The Article also clarifies that certain requirements in section I-I.8.a for pre-construction meetings apply only to projects requiring erosion control installation or any clearing. Finally, the Article makes a housekeeping change to correct a cross-reference to a subsection of the Zoning By-law. The Planning Board’s recommendation deletes a proposal to correct a capitalization error upon advice of Town Counsel that the correction may be made without a By-law amendment.


Approval of this Article requires a two-thirds vote of Town Meeting.


The Planning Board and the Advisory Committee voted unanimously in support of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED:  That the Town amend the Zoning By-law of the Town of Hingham, adopted March 10, 1941, as heretofore amended as follows: 

 

Item 1:  By amending Section I-I.5.a by deleting “I-I.6” and inserting “I-I.4” from the first sentence;

 

Item 2: By amending Section I-I.8.a to insert “For all projects requiring erosion control installation or any clearing” at the start of the first sentence; and

 

Item 3:  By amending Section IV-B.6.b to replace the existing text of subsection 1) with “would 1) create a land disturbance or an alteration of drainage patterns over an area greater than 5,000 square feet;”  

 

     ARTICLE 32:  Will the Town amend the Zoning By-law of the Town of Hingham, adopted March 10, 1941, as heretofore amended as follows:


Item 1:  By amending Section III-G.4.c.iii by deleting the word “become” and inserting the word “becoming”;


Item 2:  By amending Section III-G.6.b.ii to delete “street level story” and insert “ground floor”;


Item 3:  By amending Section III-G.6.c.i to delete the existing text in its entirety and insert “A commercial use shall be located at the ground floor facing the street(s) on which the parcel has frontage or facing the Station Street parking lot.  The commercial use must include not less than 80% of the linear width of the structure facing the street and must comprise not less than 80% of the footprint of the structure.”;


Item 4:  By amending Section III-G.6.c.ii to insert the following language at the start of the section “Dwelling units shall be located above ground floor.  No dwelling units shall be permitted below the ground floor. In the event of a building with multiple ground floors the residential use shall be above the higher of the two ground floors”;


Item 5:  By amending Section III-G.7.a.vi. to delete “ground level” and insert “ground floor”;


or act on anything related thereto? 

(Inserted at the request of the Planning Board)


     COMMENT:  The Planning Board seeks to amend Section III-G of the Town’s Zoning By-law, which pertains to the Downtown Hingham Overlay District (“DHOD”).  The purpose of the DHOD is to protect and promote the viability and value of business and residential properties located in the DHOD in a manner consistent with Hingham’s historic character.  The DHOD consists of parcels in the underlying Business District A extending from the intersection of South Street and Bates Way to the west to the intersection of Summer Street, Green Street and Chief Justice Cushing Highway to the east.


This Article clarifies requirements for mixed-use commercial/residential buildings in the DHOD and specifies the amount and location of commercial use that must be provided in such projects.  Commercial/residential buildings are intended to have the first floor devoted primarily to commercial use with dwellings primarily confined to upper floors.  The proposed amendment which was modified from the original language of the Article after considerable discussion by the Planning Board, specifies that 65% of the linear width of the ground floor and 55% of the area of the ground floor must be commercial.  However, in recognition of the unique characteristics of the downtown streetscape, the amendment allows each of these percentages to be reduced to not less than 40% if the Board of Appeals finds both that (i) the reduction is needed to comply with a Planning Board parking determination and (ii) the reduction in ground floor commercial use does not have a negative impact on the streetscape, with the goal of having a walkable commercial district.  Commercial uses also may be located above the ground floor. 


Further, the existing By-law provision requires the commercial use to face the street. Under the amendment, commercial use may instead face the Station Street parking lot. 


The By-law currently prohibits dwelling units below the ground floor.  This Article continues that ban but provides that in buildings with two ground floors, due to the slope of the land, residential use may occur on both ground floors as long as the stated percentages for commercial use are maintained.

                       

The Article also seeks to clarify language of the Zoning By-law and make it consistent throughout. There are minor grammatical edits and conforming changes to an existing definition in the Zoning By-law.


Approval of this Article requires a two-thirds vote of Town Meeting.


The Planning Board and the Advisory Committee voted unanimously in support of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED:  That the Town amend the Zoning By-law of the Town of Hingham, adopted March 10, 1941, as heretofore amended as follows:

 

Item 1:  By amending Section III-G.4.c.iii by replacing the clause “prevent umbrellas from become flying projectiles” with “prevent umbrellas from becoming flying projectiles”; 

 

Item 2:  By amending Section III-G.6.b.ii to replace “street level story” with “ground floor”;

 

Item 3:  By amending Section III-G.6.c.i to replace the existing text in its entirety with: “A commercial use shall be located at the ground floor facing the street(s) on which the parcel has frontage or facing the Station Street parking lot.  The commercial use must occupy not less than 65% of the linear width of the structure facing the street and must comprise not less than 55% of the area of the ground floor of the structure; provided, however, that the Board of Appeals may approve a lesser percentage of linear width or area of the ground floor (but not less than 40%) upon making the following findings:

 

     (x)  with respect to parking (A) the Planning Board has made a determination pursuant to a Special Permit A3 as to the minimum required on-site parking for such site and (B) the reduction in required commercial use along the linear frontage or within the area of the ground floor of the structure is necessary for satisfying such parking determination; and

 

      (y)   such reduction in commercial use along the linear frontage or within the area of the ground floor of the structure is consistent with Section III-G.1 and 2, and is not detrimental to the streetscape along which the structure is located.”;

 

Item 4:  By amending Section III-G.6.c.ii to insert the following language at the start of the section: “Dwelling units shall be located above the ground floor.  No dwelling units shall be permitted below the ground floor. In the event of a building with multiple ground floors due to topography the residential use may occur at different elevations in the same building but shall always be above the respective ground floors as long as the percentages are consistent with Section III-G.6.c.i.”;

 

Item 5:  By amending Section III-G.7.a.vi. to replace “ground level” with “ground floor”; and

Item 6:  By replacing the definition of “Commercial/ Residential Building” with the following: “A building containing commercial uses on the ground floor and a dwelling unit or dwelling unit(s) above the ground floor.  A Commercial/Residential Building may also contain commercial uses above the ground floor, but in no event shall residential uses be permitted on or below the ground floor, except as expressly provided in this By-law.” 

 

     ARTICLE 33:  Will the Town amend the Zoning By-Law of the Town of Hingham, adopted March 10, 1941, as heretofore amended, as follows:


Item 1: Amend Section III-I,1.D.(i) by replacing the reference to “Single-Family or Two-Family residential use” where it appears in parentheses with “Single-Family Dwelling or Two-Family Dwelling”; 


Item 2: Replace Section III-I,1.D.(iii)a. in its entirety as follows: “This subsection (iii) shall not apply to and shall not prohibit the conforming use of a building or structure that would be a lawful nonconforming building or structure if it had not been deemed discontinued or abandoned hereunder as a Single-Family Dwelling  or a Two-Family Dwelling, provided, however, that any alteration, reconstruction, addition, extension, or structural change to the building or structure shall (i) maintain or improve the dimensional conditions that were once nonconforming until abandoned or discontinued and (ii) any addition or extension to the building or structure conforms to the applicable height and yard dimensions under Section IV-A.” and


Item 3: Insert after Section III-I,1.D.(iii)b. the following: “Nonconforming conditions reestablished pursuant to the above exceptions shall no longer be considered nonconforming once a building permit or special permit has issued.”


or act on anything related thereto?

(Inserted at the request of the Zoning Board of Appeals)


     COMMENT:  This Article seeks to amend the Hingham Zoning By-law with respect to the abandonment or discontinuance of nonconforming Single-Family and Two-Family Dwellings.


Among other things, the By-law establishes appropriate uses and dimensional requirements throughout Hingham’s various zoning districts.  Uses that are in accordance with permitted uses in a given district, such as a retail store in a business district or a Single-Family Dwelling in a residential district, are referred to as “conforming” uses.  Similarly, structures that are in accordance with permitted dimensions in a given district, such as a building that does not infringe on required property line setback dimensions, are referred to as “conforming” structures.


Conversely, “nonconforming” conditions can relate to a use, such as a retail store located in a residential district, or a dimension, such as a structure located 15 feet from a property line in a district where a 25-foot setback is required by the By-law. In order to be considered legally nonconforming, and therefore protected, the condition (i.e. the use or the dimension) must have existed prior to the adoption of the zoning regulation that made it unlawful. These legally nonconforming uses and structures are commonly referred to as “grandfathered,” which generally means that they can be maintained and improved under certain circumstances.


However, once abandoned or no longer used for a certain period of time, legally nonconforming conditions may lose their protected status absent some local exemption provided by the Town that allows the condition to be reestablished.  This Article provides more detail regarding such a local exemption in the By-law.


Section III-I, D of the Zoning By-law regulates the abandonment or discontinuance of nonconformities and establishes parameters for when they might be reestablished. The Hingham Zoning Board of Appeals (“the Board”) proposed this amendment to specify the exemptions that relate to abandoned or discontinued nonconforming Single-Family and Two-Family Dwellings.


The proposed amendment more clearly states than the existing language that a conforming Single-Family or Two-Family Dwelling use may be reestablished in a dimensionally nonconforming structure that had been abandoned or discontinued for a period of more than two years.   Discontinued, in this context, means not used or occupied.


The amendment also restricts changes that could be made to the building or structure in reestablishing the conforming use.  These changes are limited to any alteration, reconstruction, addition, extension, or structural change that does not extend the yard and/or height dimensional conditions that were nonconforming at the time the building or structure was abandoned or discontinued.  Nonconforming lot dimensions, including area and frontage, may also be maintained such that a conforming Single-Family or Two-Family use could be reestablished within a nonconforming structure on an undersized lot or one with deficient frontage. Any changes to such structures that do not extend the nonconforming yard or height conditions would likewise not be considered an extension of the nonconforming lot conditions. 


Example #1:



This dimensionally nonconforming structure (15 feet from front property line in a district with 25-foot setback required) had been abandoned. The amendment makes clear that despite its having been abandoned, the conforming use as a Single-Family Dwelling may be reestablished in the existing structure.


In addition, this structure could be reconstructed provided that the resulting structure does not extend the nonconforming dimension(s), whether they be yard or height dimensions or both.  With the amendment, this structure could be reconstructed on the existing footprint, continuing the pre-reconstruction nonconforming dimensions, but not extending any dimensional non-conformity.  Reconstructing and reducing any non-conforming dimensions would also be permitted.

Example #2:

The dimensionally nonconforming structure shown in Example #2 can be added to or expanded provided such addition or expansion complies with current height and yard dimensional requirements.  As shown below, the crosshatched section (upper left-hand corner) would not be allowed as it would extend, or increase, the yard dimensional nonconformity by adding more structure within the required 25-foot front yard setback.  The non-crosshatched additions would be permitted as they do not increase or extend a dimensional nonconformity. 




Finally, this amendment is not intended to permit an abandoned or discontinued nonconforming Single-Family and Two-Family Dwelling to be demolished and reconstructed at a later date.  The use of the term “reconstruction” is intended to allow demolition and reconstruction as one continuous process, not two separate processes separated by an extended period of time. 


Approval of this Article requires a two-thirds vote of Town Meeting.


The Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously approved this Article. The Advisory Committee voted unanimously in support of this Article.

 

     RECOMMENDED:  That the town amend the Zoning By-law of the Town of Hingham, adopted March 10, 1941, as heretofore amended, as follows: 

 

Item 1: amend section III-I,1.D.(i) by replacing the reference to “Single-Family or Two-Family residential use” where it appears in parentheses with “Single-Family Dwelling or Two-Family Dwelling”;  

 

Item 2: replace section III-I,1.D.(iii)a. in its entirety with the following: “This subsection (iii) shall not apply to and shall not prohibit the conforming use as a Single-Family Dwelling or a Two-Family Dwelling, as applicable, of a building or structure that would be a lawful nonconforming building or structure if it had not been deemed discontinued or abandoned hereunder; provided, however, that section III-I, 2 shall not apply and any alteration, reconstruction, addition, extension, or structural change to such building or structure shall not extend the yard and/or height dimensional conditions that were nonconforming at the time the building or structure was abandoned or discontinued.”;

 

Item 3: in section III-I,1.D.(iii)b., replace the reference to “subsection (iii) “a”” to “subsection (iii)a.”; and 

 

Item 4: insert after section III-I,1.D.(iii)b. The following: “a building or structure reestablished pursuant to the above exceptions (iii)a or (iii)b shall no longer be considered nonconforming once a building permit or special permit has issued.”

 

     ARTICLE 34:  Will the Town amend the Zoning By-Law of the Town of Hingham, adopted March 10, 1941, as heretofore amended as follows:


Item 1:  By amending Section III-C, 1 by deleting the following text: “25023C0018J, 25023C0019J, 25023C0038J, 25023C0081J, 25023C0082J, 25023C0083J, 25023C0084J, 25023C0091J, 25023C0092J, 25023C0101J, 25023C0102J, 25023C0103J, 25023C0104J, and 25023C0111J, dated July 17, 2012, and” and inserting the following text: “25023C0016J, 25025C0017J, 25023C0018J, 25023C0019J, 25023C0038J, 25023C0081J, 25023C0082J, 25023C0083J, 25023C0084J, and 25023C0102J, dated July 17, 2012, and 25023C0091K, 25023C0092K, 25023C0101K, 25023C0103K, 25023C0104K, and 25023C0111K, dated July 22, 2020,”; and


Item 2:  By replacing the current map “Zoning Part B: Floodplain Protection Overlay District” with an updated map with the same title that (1) shows the updated floodplain information on the following panels: 25023C0091K, 25023C0092K, 25023C0101K, 25023C0103K, 25023C0104K, and 25023C0111K, (2) replaces the date with April 2020, and (3) in the footnote, replaces the phrase “Flood zone designations are based on 2012 Flood Insurance Rate Maps”, with the phrase “Flood zone designations are based on 2012 and 2020 Flood Insurance Rate Maps”; or act on anything relating thereto? 

(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)

 

     COMMENT:  The Floodplain Protection Overlay District was established in 1969 in response to the creation of the National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”) and the development of the first set of national Flood Plain maps.  Section III-C of the Zoning By-Law, which implements the floodplain protection program, has since been periodically revised to keep pace with current Flood Plain maps.  The most recent substantial revision occurred in 2012, and several minor revisions have been made since that time.


Recently, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) completed a comprehensive re-evaluation of flood hazards in Plymouth County, resulting in the preparation of a new Flood Insurance Rate Map (“FIRM”), the document used to identify which areas lie within the ambit of the NFIP.  The revised FIRM was appropriately publicized, and the statutory appeal period has now expired.  The new FIRM will become effective in Hingham on July 22, 2020.


Federal law requires the Town, as a condition of its continued participation in the NFIP, to regulate activities located in Flood Hazard areas as reflected in the new maps. One of the purposes of Section III-C of the Zoning By-Law is to provide the required regulation. Accordingly, the updates proposed by this Article are necessary for the Town to remain in compliance with the federal program and thus to make federal flood insurance available to residents.


Adoption of this Article requires a two-thirds vote of Town Meeting.


The Advisory Committee and the Planning Board voted unanimously in support of this Article as revised.

 

     RECOMMENED: That the Town amend the Zoning By-law of the Town of Hingham, adopted March 10, 1941, as heretofore amended, as follows:

 

Item 1:  By amending Section III-C, 1 to replace the following text in the third sentence thereof: “The map panels of the Plymouth County FIRM that are wholly or partially within the Town of Hingham are panel numbers 25023C0018J, 25023C0019J, 25023C0038J, 25023C0081J, 25023C0082J, 25023C0083J, 25023C0084J, 25023C0091J, 25023C0092J, 25023C0101J, 25023C0102J, 25023C0103J, 25023C0104J, and 25023C0111J, dated July 17, 2012, and” with the following text: “The map panels of the Plymouth County FIRM that are wholly or partially within the Town of Hingham are panel numbers 25023C0016J, 25023C0017J, 25023C0018J, 25023C0019J, 25023C0038J, 25023C0081J, 25023C0082J, 25023C0083J, 25023C0084J, and 25023C0102J, dated July 17, 2012, and 25023C0091K, 25023C0092K, 25023C0101K, 25023C0103K, 25023C0104K, and 25023C0111K, dated July 22, 2020, and”; 

 

Item 2:  By amending Section III-C, 1 to replace the fourth sentence thereof with the following: “The applicable FIRM and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports are incorporated herein by reference and are on file with the Town Clerk, Building Department, and Conservation Commission.”; and

 

Item 3:  By replacing the current map “Zoning Part B: Floodplain Protection Overlay District” with an updated map with the same title that (1) shows the updated floodplain information on the following panels: 25023C0091K, 25023C0092K, 25023C0101K, 25023C0103K, 25023C0104K, and 25023C0111K; (2) replaces the date with April 2020, and (3) in the footnote, replaces the phrase “Flood zone designations are based on 2012 Flood Insurance Rate Maps”, with the phrase “Flood zone designations are based on 2012 and 2020 Flood Insurance Rate Maps”.

 

     ARTICLE 35:  Will the Town transfer a sum of money from the Receipts Reserved for Appropriation Fund:  Insurance Recovery in Excess of $150,000 for use by the School Department, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted at the request of the School Committee)


     COMMENT: Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 44, Section 53 requires the expenditure of insurance recoveries in excess of $150,000 be subject to a vote of Town Meeting prior to final expenditure. 


In May 2019, Hingham High School suffered extensive damage due to a fire. Damage was caused by both the fire and the water used to extinguish the blaze.  The total cost of the necessary repairs was in excess of $150,000.  The required repairs were made and paid for by the School Department with the expectation that it would be reimbursed by the Town once the insurance claim was settled.  The Town received $439,747.25 from the insurance company as reimbursement of costs associated with the final repairs.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED: That the Town transfer $439,747.25 (the amount of the settlement) from the Receipts Reserved for Appropriation Fund:  Insurance Recovery in Excess of $150,000 for use by the School Department.


     ARTICLE 36:  Will the Town transfer a sum of money from the Receipts Reserved for Appropriation Fund:  Insurance Recovery in Excess of $150,000 for use by the School Department, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted at the request of the School Committee)


     COMMENT: Massachusetts General Laws chapter 44, section 53 requires the expenditure of insurance recoveries in excess of $150,000 be subject to a vote of Town Meeting prior to final expenditure. 


In August 2019, East School was extensively damaged due to flooding caused by an open water valve. Total cost of the necessary repairs was in excess of $150,000. Payment for the repairs was made by the School Department with the expectation that it would be reimbursed once the insurance claim was settled.  The Town received $461,078.05 from the insurance company as reimbursement of costs associated with the final repairs.


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED: That the Town transfer $461,078.05 (the amount of the insurance settlement) from the Receipts Reserved for Appropriation Fund: Insurance Recovery in Excess of $150,000 for use by the School Department.

 

     ARTICLE 37:  Will the Town, (1) pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 82, Section 21, discontinue all or portions of that portion of the public way known as Old Derby Street as shown on a plan entitled “Old Derby Street Partial Discontinuance Plan”, Progress Print, dated January 16, 2020, prepared by CHA Companies (the “Plan”), such portions being shown on the Plan as (a) “Portion A of 1929 Old Derby Street Town Layout #2604 To Be Discontinued” containing 5,501 square feet, and (b) “Portion B of 1929 Old Derby Street Town Layout #2604 To Be Discontinued” containing 3,445 square feet and (2) authorize, but not require, the Board of Selectmen, pursuant and subject to M.G.L. Chapter 40, Sections 3, 15 and 15A, as applicable, and Article 5, Section 4A of the Town of Hingham General Bylaws, to dispose of all or any portion of said Portion A and said Portion B as shown on the Plan, for a minimum of $1.00 and on such other terms and conditions as the Board of Selectmen deem in the best interests of the Town, for any use permitted or allowed in the Industrial Park Zoning District, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)

 

     COMMENT:  This Article would discontinue the use as a public way of two portions of Old Derby Street identified on the Old Derby Street Discontinuance Plan as Portion A and Portion B, and would authorize but not require the Board of Selectmen to dispose of all or any of the discontinued area.  The Assessor’s Office has valued Portion A (5,501 square feet) at $28,600 and Portion B (3,445 square feet) at $17,900.  Approval of this Article grants the Board of Selectmen the right to dispose of the properties without a full Request for Proposal process because the Town has the right under state law to so dispose of real property valued under $35,000.


The reason for the discontinuance relates to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (“Mass DOT”) Derby Street corridor project.  The two ends of Old Derby Street (where they met Derby Street) have been misaligned since the 1950s, resulting in significant safety issues. Mass DOT agreed to include realignment of Old Derby and installation of a traffic light in the project.


This realignment has had a substantial impact on the land on the south side of Derby Street, creating a new southern spur of Old Derby Street which resulted in a four-way intersection with the new traffic light.  Mass DOT took the new portion of Old Derby Street in fee (at Mass DOT’s cost) in the name of the Town.  As a result, the new portion of Old Derby is legally part of the Town’s right of way and the Town is responsible for its maintenance. 


The result is that the two portions of roadway referenced above are now “orphan” parcels of Old Derby Street. The south side of the original Old Derby Street no longer connects to Derby Street and does not serve any use for the public.  The Department of Public Works would prefer not to maintain the two parcels that are no longer needed to access Derby Street or any of the abutting lots. The Town has no use for either of these parcels as they now exist.  Additionally, abutting property owners have expressed interest in purchasing the parcels if Town Meeting approves this Article.

Approval of this Article requires a two-thirds vote of Town Meeting.


The Advisory Committee, Board of Selectmen, and Planning Board voted unanimously in favor of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED:  That the Town, (1) pursuant to M.G.L. chapter 82, section 21, discontinue portions of the public way known as Old Derby Street as shown on a plan entitled “Old Derby Street Partial Discontinuance Plan”, Progress Print, dated January 16, 2020, prepared by CHA Companies (the “Plan”), such portions being shown on the Plan as (a) “Portion A of 1929 Old Derby Street Layout #2604 To Be Discontinued” containing 5,501 square feet, and (b) “Portion B of 1929 Old Derby Street Layout #2604 To Be Discontinued” containing 3,445 square feet and (2) authorize, but not require, the Board of Selectmen, pursuant and subject to M.G.L. chapter 40, sections 3, 15 and 15A, as applicable, and article 5, section 4A of the Town of Hingham General Bylaws, to dispose of all or any portion of said Portion A and said Portion B as shown on the Plan, for a minimum of $1.00 and on such other terms and conditions as the Board of Selectmen deem in the best interests of the Town, for any use permitted or allowed in the Industrial Park Zoning District.

 

     ARTICLE 38:  Will the Town authorize, but not require, the Board of Selectmen to accept grants of easements for streets, water, drainage, sewer and utility purposes or any public purpose on terms and conditions the Board deems in the best interest of the Town, or act on anything relating thereto?

(Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)


     COMMENT: The Town benefits from many easements over private property throughout Hingham.  From time to time, the Town, particularly its Department of Public Works, requires new easements in order to complete roadway and other public works projects.  At times, the Town receives requests from private property owners to relocate easements held by the Town on their property.  Under Massachusetts law, Town Meeting approval is required for the Board of Selectmen to accept such easements.


This Article would allow the Board of Selectmen to accept such easements during the coming year and thus avoid potentially expensive delays and inconvenience to projects that benefit the Town.  This Article is intended solely to cover easements voluntarily granted to the Town and would not allow the Board of Selectmen to accept easements that require funds to acquire them.  Furthermore, the authority conferred by this Article is not unlimited in time; it is limited to the coming year.  If continuing authority is required, the next Annual Town Meeting may be asked to approve it. 


The Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in support of this Article.


     RECOMMENDED:  That the Town authorize, but not require, for a period through April 30, 2021, the Board of Selectmen to accept grants of easements for purposes of streets, sidewalks, or pedestrian walkways, or water, drainage, sewage, or utility facilities on terms or conditions that the Board deems in the best interests of the Town.