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TOWN OF HINGHAM
BOARD OF APPEALS
IN THE MATTER OF:
Applicant: Hingham Recreation Department
Property Owner: Town of Hingham
210 Central Street
Premises: 0 Otis Street (Assessors Map 50 Lot 50)
Hingham, MA 02043
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS
This matter came before the Board of Appeals on the application from the Town of Hingham (the “Applicant”) for a Special Permit A2 under §III-H 5.1.b. with Site Plan Review to be done by the Planning Board under §I-G, §I-I of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to allow a kayak and paddleboard program at Hingham Harbor, administered by the Recreation Department and Harbormaster at 0 Otis Street, located in the Official Open Space and Hingham Harbor Overlay District.
The Board of Appeals and Planning Board heard the applications at a duly advertised and noticed joint public hearing on Monday, June 30, 2014. The Board of Appeals panel consisted of its regular members W. Tod McGrath, Chairman, Joseph M. Fisher and Joseph W. Freeman. Planning Board members present were Chairman, Gary Tondorf-Dick, Sarah Corey and William Ramsey. The Applicant was represented during the hearing by Mark Thorell, Recreation Director, Ken Corson, Harbormaster, and Amy Cowan, Director of the Friends of Hingham Harbor.
BACKGROUND and DISCUSSION
The premises consists of public parking lot, beach, park and docks. The proposed kayak and paddleboard program would be located on a dedicated dock adjacent to the Harbormaster shed. The use, which is described in the Hingham Harbor Overlay District as a "public or private commercial or recreational boating facility, such as a sailing club, rowing club and/or other organized boating facility," is allowed by Special Permit A2. The Board of Selectmen voted on June 24, 2014 to authorize the use of the pier for this purpose.
The program will be administered by the Recreation Department, with safety oversight provided by the Harbormaster. There will be a minimum of one Recreation Department employee on site during hours of operation. The fleet will consist of five kayaks and five standup paddleboards. These will be available to the public for rental in two hour increments Thursday - Sunday. A pedal boat will also be available to Hingham residents on these days for free. The Recreation Department will use the equipment for organized programs Monday - Wednesday. The boats will be used seasonally during daylight hours, weather-permitting.
After discussion, the Planning Board voted to waive Site Plan Review in association with the Special Permit A2 for the proposed use.
Based on the information submitted and presented during the hearing, the Board made the following findings:
a. The proposed use will be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the Zoning By-Law, for the following reasons:
The proposed water dependent use will not adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of the public. The proposed use fulfills the objectives of the Hingham Harbor Overlay District which include the provision of "water-based recreational uses...such as...pleasure boating and kayaking."
b. The proposed use complies with the purposes and standards of the relevant specific sections of this By-Law, for the following reasons:
The boating facility is allowed by Special Permit within the Hingham Harbor Overlay District. The Planning Board voted to waive its Site Plan Review Requirements as no alteration of the site is proposed other than installation of a dedicated town dock with storage rack for the boats.
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 Premises is a public property on the harbor. It is an appropriate location for the proposed boating program.
d. The use as developed and operated will create positive impacts or potential adverse impacts will be mitigated, for the following reasons:
The proposed use will not create adverse impacts. The Harbormaster indicated and the Board agreed that there is not likely to be conflict between existing recreational boaters and the proposed boating program.
e. There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians, for the following reasons:
There will be no nuisance or serious injury to vehicles or pedestrians. There exists adequate parking for the proposed use on the site.
f. Adequate and appropriate facilities exist or will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use, for the following reasons:
The Premises has adequate facilities for the operation of the boating program and the dedicated dock and storage rack will serve the use well.
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:
This criterion is not applicable.
RULINGS AND DECISION
Based upon the findings set forth above, the Board of Appeals voted unanimously to GRANT the Special Permit A2 under §III-H 5.1.b. of the Zoning By-Law to allow a kayak and paddleboard program at Hingham Harbor, administered by the Recreation Department and Harbormaster at 0 Otis Street, subject to the following conditions:
This decision shall not take effect until a copy of the decision bearing the certification of the Town Clerk, that twenty (20) days have elapsed since the decision has been filed in the office of the Town Clerk and no appeal has been filed, or that if such appeal has been filed, that it has been dismissed or denied, is recorded with the Plymouth County Registry of Deeds and/or the Plymouth County Land Court Registry, and indexed in the grantor index under the name of the record owner or is recorded and noted on the owner’s certificate of title.
For the Board of Appeals,
Joseph W. Freeman