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TOWN OF HINGHAM
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
NOTICE OF DECISION
IN THE MATTER OF:
Applicant and Hingham Cemetery Corp.
Property Owner: 40 Water Street
Hingham, MA 02043
Premises: 40 Water Street
Hingham, MA 02043
Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 2003, Page 389
Reference: "Proposed Building Plan", prepared by Brendan P.
Sullivan, PLS, Cavanaro Consulting, 687 Main Street, Norwell, MA, dated
December 10, 2013
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS:
matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals on the application of
the Hingham Cemetery Corp. (the “Applicant”) for Variances from §IV-A,
§IV-B, 5 and §IV-C, 2 of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as
necessary to locate a prefabricated storage shed within 40' of the
property line at 40 Water Street in the Official and Open Space
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on October
28, 2013 at Hingham Town Hall and was continued to December 19, 2013.
The panel consisted of regular members Joseph W. Freeman, Chairman, and
W. Tod McGrath and Associate Member Robyn Maguire. The Applicant was
represented by Attorney Daniel Brewer.
Premises is an historic landscaped cemetery. The Applicant has
maintained a fenced in service yard for over ten years at the rear of
the Water Street section of the Premises, abutting the MBTA Greenbush
right of way. The Applicant stores landscaping equipment and related
materials in the yard in which it now proposes to locate a prefabricated
12' by 20' storage shed to house the equipment and materials. Because
the proposed location of the storage shed is within 40' of the
Premises' property line, the Applicant seeks a variance from the
provisions of Section IV-A and IV-C, 2 of the Hingham Zoning By-Law.
Additionally, the Applicant seeks a variance from the requirements of
Section IV-B, 5 to confirm the continued location of the service yard
within the 20'-wide green perimeter otherwise required by said section.
Board reviewed the requested relief and found it to be generally
reasonable; however, the submitted plans were not sufficiently detailed
to issue a decision. The Board continued the hearing to allow the
Cemetery time to file a more specific request and plans that show the
exact setback proposed, as well as the location of the maintenance
compound in relation to the overall property. The Board received the
above-referenced plan on December 10, 2013, which shows the proposed
storage trailer located 18' from the boundary line where 40' is
required. The proposed location also extends 2' into the required
20'-wide green perimeter.
The Chair opened the hearing for
public comment. Joseph Fisher, 94 Station Street, attended the hearing
and spoke in favor of the application. No one appeared or wrote to the
Board in opposition to the application.
FINDINGS AND DECISION:
Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested Variances to maintain
the existing service yard and locate a prefabricated storage shed 18'
from the property line where a 40' building setback and 20' of green
space is required. In granting the requested relief, the Board found
1. The fenced in service yard lies at the bottom of a
steep slope and is bounded to the north by the MBTA Greenbush right of
way (ROW). The Station Street Parking Lot is located to the immediate
north of the commuter rail ROW. Accordingly, circumstances related to
the shape and topography of the Premises and specifically the service
yard, and especially affecting that area but not generally the zoning
district in which it is located, support granting the requested
2. Literal enforcement of the Zoning By-Law would
require the Applicant to relocate the existing service yard and proposed
storage shed to an area of the Cemetery that is similarly accessible
and well-screened, which would involve substantial hardship.
Desirable relief may be granted without substantial detriment to the
public good. The service area and proposed storage shed will be in an
area of the Cemetery that are effectively screened from view by the yard
fencing and the MBTA fencing. As a result, there will be no negative
impact, visual or otherwise, from the continuation of the storage yard
or installation of the storage shed as proposed.
4. The requested
Variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating
from the intent or purpose of the Zoning By-Law. The service yard and
storage shed are necessary to support the use of the Premises as a
Cemetery and will not result in any negative impacts, visual or
The Variance is granted subject the following condition:
The service yard shall continue and the storage shed shall be installed
in accordance with the referenced plans submitted with the application
and the representations made during the public hearing.
zoning relief granted herein shall not become effective until (i) the
Town Clerk has certified on a copy of this Decision that twenty (20)
days have elapsed after the decision has been filed in the office of the
Town Clerk and no appeal has been filed or that if such an appeal has
been filed, that it has been dismissed or denied, and that (ii) a copy
thereof has been duly recorded in the Plymouth County Registry of Deeds
and indexed in the grantor index under the name of the owner of record
or is recorded and noted on the owner’s certificate of title.
For the Zoning Board of Appeals,
Joseph W. Freeman
January 7, 2014