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TOWN OF HINGHAM
Board of Appeals
NOTICE OF DECISION
SPECIAL PERMIT MODIFICATION
IN THE MATTER OF:
Applicant: New Cingular Wireless PCS LLC d/b/a AT&T
550 Cochituate Road, Suites 13 and 14
Framingham, MA 01701
Owner: HCM, LLC
c/o Hingham Shipyard Marina LLC
24 Shipyard Drive
Hingham, MA 02043
Property: 9 Shipyard Drive
Hingham, MA 02043
Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Book 32846, Page 122
Plan Reference: Plan set entitled, "Site Number: MA1116, Site Name:
Hingham - Smokestack," prepared by VRG, 489 Washington Street, Auburn,
MA and Empire Telcom USA ,LLC, 16 Esquire Road, Billerica, MA, dated
April 9, 2014, revised through February 10, 2015 (Drawings 01-05)
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS
This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the
application of New Cingular Wireless PCS LLC d/b/a AT&T (the
"Applicant") for a modification of an existing Special Permit A2 from §
V-E of the Zoning By-Law (the "By-Law") and such other relief as
necessary to add a three panel antenna to an existing wireless facility
as part of a nationwide upgrade at 9 Shipyard Drive in the Industrial
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on June 17, 2015, at the
Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The Board panel consisted of its regular
members W. Tod McGrath, Chairman, and Joseph M. Fisher, and associate
member Alan Kearney. The Applicant was represented during the hearing
by Timothy W. Greene, Empire Telecom. At the conclusion of the hearing,
the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested modification to
allow three additional antennas to locate at the existing facility.
Throughout its deliberations, the Board has been mindful of the
statements of the Applicant and the comments of the general public, all
as made or received at the public hearing.
AT&T maintains and operates equipment at 9 Shipyard Drive located
on the "Shipyard Smokestack". The Hingham Zoning By-Law allows personal
wireless services antennas to be attached to a Host Structure upon
issuance of a Special Permit A2 in industrial zones. The Applicant
sought and attained permits from the Town to move its then-existing
equipment from a height of 186' on the Shipyard Smokestack down to 130'
in 2011. The Applicant now seeks approval to both upgrade the existing
AT&T antennas located on the Shipyard Smokestack and add three new
panel antennas to provide service and capacity on its long term
evolution ("LTE" or "4G") network.
The Applicant simultaneously filed with the Planning Board a request
to waive Site Plan Review. During its meeting on May 20, 2015, the
Planning Board determined that the proposed modification constitutes a
"minor site plan" and waived the requirement for a public hearing under
Site Plan Review before the Board.
The applicant filed propagation maps in support of the requested
modification to demonstrate expected improvements in coverage. The maps
established that there is no coverage under existing conditions for the
LTE network, while significant areas in Town will have LTE services
provided by this site and others once the nation-wide upgrade is
complete. The applicant's testified during the hearing that the proposed
upgrades and minor repositioning of the existing antennas will not
affect existing coverage on the AT&T PCS/UMTS systems.
Based upon the information submitted and received at the hearing, and
the deliberations and discussions of Board members at the meeting, the
Board has determined that:
a. The proposed use will be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the Zoning By-Law, for the following reasons:
The Applicant's proposed uses are in harmony with the general
purposes of the By-Law. The use is allowed in the Industrial District
under a Special Permit A2, and the use is controlled and regulated so as
not to adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of the neighbors
or the Town generally. The proposed antennas utilize existing utilities
b. The proposed use complies with the purposes and standards of the
relevant specific sections of this By-Law, for the following reasons:
The Applicant's modified use will not alter the footprint of the host
structure and continues to remain in compliance with the requirements
of Section V-E. In addition, the Planning Board determined that the
proposed upgrades and addition constitutes a minor site plan
modification and waived the requirement for a public hearing in
connection with its review.
c. The specific site is an appropriate location for such use,
structure, or condition, compatible with the characteristics of the
surrounding area, for the following reasons:
The site is an appropriate location for the modified use. The Shipyard
Smokestack already serves as a personal wireless services facility for
d. The use as developed and operated will create positive impacts or
potential adverse impacts will be mitigated, for the following reasons:
The footprint of the existing Building as well as all existing
ingress and egress access to the Property has not and will not be
altered in connection with the Applicant's use. A 4' access way will
provides safe and level access to the rear of the Property for mortuary
e. There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians, for the following reasons:
The Property's current ingress and egress access, as well as the
maintenance schedule for the facility, have not and will not to be
altered in connection with the additional antennas.
f. Adequate and appropriate facilities exist or will be provided for
the proper operation of the proposed use, for the following reasons:
The existing antennas and associated equipment will be upgraded in conjunction with the project.
g. The proposed Project meets accepted design standards and criteria
for the functional design of facilities, structures, stormwater
management, and site construction, for the following reasons:
The functional design for wireless facilities is net. The Board
determined that the proposed modification complies with the relevant
requirements for Personal Wireless Service Facilities on Host Structures
as specified in Section V-E, 8. These include design standards.
Specifically, antennas must be camouflaged or made to appear as an
architectural component of the structure. The specification sheet for
the OctoPort Multi-Band Antenna and a number of visual simulations from
various perspectives within the Shipyard were included with the filing.
The Board noted that the proposed antennas are white, as is this portion
of the smokestack. The arrays appear very similar to other carriers'
facilities on the structure.
Upon a motion made by Joseph M. Fisher and seconded by Alan Kearney,
the Board voted unanimously to approved the requested Special Permit A2
Modification pursuant to § V-E of the By-Law approving installation of a
three panel antenna to an existing wireless facility as part of a
nationwide upgrade at 9 Shipyard Drive in the Industrial District,
subject to the following conditions:
1. The Applicant shall construct the Project in a manner consistent
with the approved plans and the representations made at the hearings
before the Board.
This decision shall not take effect until a copy of the decision
bearing the certification of the Town Clerk, that twenty (20) days have
elapsed since the decision has been filed in the office of the Town
Clerk and no appeal has been filed, or that if such appeal has been
filed, that it has been dismissed or denied, is recorded with the
Plymouth Registry of Deeds and/or the Plymouth County Land Court
Registry, and indexed in the grantor index under the name of the record
owner or is recorded and noted on the owner's certificate of title.
For The Board of Appeals,