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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

Plan Reference:        "Proposed Building Plan", prepared by Brendan P. Sullivan, PLS, Cavanaro Consulting, 687 Main Street, Norwell, MA, dated                         December 10, 2013

This 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 District.

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.
The 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.

The 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.

The 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 that:

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 variance.
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.
3.    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 otherwise.

The Variance is granted subject the following condition:

1.    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.

The 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