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TOWN OF HINGHAM
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
NOTICE OF DECISION
SPECIAL PERMIT A1 DECISION
SECTION III-C FLOOD PLAIN AND WATERSHED PROTECTION DISTRICT
IN THE MATTER OF:
Applicant: Jeffrey A. and Susan P. Johnson
2 Brewster Rd.
Hingham, MA 02043
Premises: 190 Downer Avenue
Hingham, MA 02043
Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 42884, Page 191
Reference: Exhibit A - "Site Plan of Land," prepared by Keefe
Associates, 281 South River Road, Marshfield, MA, dated March 4, 2013
and Exhibit B - enlarged portion of the Site Plan
showing driveway location
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS:
matter came before the Board of Appeals on the application of Jeffrey
A. and Susan P. Johnson (“Applicants”) for a Special Permit A1 under
§III-C, 4.e. of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to
install a driveway to serve a proposed single family dwelling at 190
DOWNER AVENUE, a portion of which is within the Downer Avenue
right-of-way and the Flood Plain and Watershed Protection District.
application was submitted as an amendment to and the hearing was held
concurrently with a previously filed Administrative Appeal and/or
Variances of §IV-A of the Zoning By-Law, for the proposed single family
dwelling at the same location.
The Zoning Board of Appeals
opened the hearing on the Special Permit A1 application on October 28,
2013 in the Hingham Town Hall at 210 Central Street. The Board of
Appeals panel consisted of regular members Joseph Freeman, Chairman and
W. Tod McGrath and alternate member Robyn Maguire. The Applicant was
represented by Daniel A. Brewer, Esq. and architect Bonnie Hobbs. The
Applicants were also in attendance.
The Town's legal counsel, Attorney Susan Murphy, also attended the hearings.
Applicants own an undeveloped, nonconforming lot located at 190 Downer
Avenue (“Premises”) consisting of 11,842 SF with 100' of frontage. On
October 28, 2013, the Zoning Board voted unanimously to reverse a
determination of the Building Commissioner, dated July 2, 2013, that the
lot was not grandfathered. After extensive review of the deeds and
local exemptions contained in prior versions of the Hingham Zoning
By-Law, the Board found that the Premises qualifies as an exempted lot
and can be developed for single-family residential use.
then turned to the new application for a Special Permit A1 to install a
portion of a driveway serving the proposed dwelling in a floodplain
(FEMA flood zone VE (elevation 15)). Attorney Brewer said that DPW
Superintendent, Randy Sylvester, had acknowledged the application and
authorized its filing. The Johnsons will seek a street opening permit
from DPW before they proceed with construction. The Johnsons have
already obtained a Negative Determination of Applicability from the
Hingham Conservation Commission, which requires that erosion controls be
installed and approved by the Conservation Officer prior to any work
activity. A Board member noted out that this is a coastal location and
requirements for compensatory flood storage therefore do not apply.
Chair then opened the hearing for public comment. Ellie Parriseault, 16
Marion St, questioned whether the Town would peer review the plan
because of the steep slopes on the site. Attorney Murphy replied that
Site Plan Review, conducted by the Planning Board, would be required if
the land disturbance is greater than 2500 SF in areas with slopes
greater than 10%. More detailed construction plans will be reviewed
after a building permit application is filed and it will be determined
at that time whether the project exceeds those thresholds. If so, then
the Planning Board may elect to have the plans peer reviewed.
The Board then reviewed the required Findings as follows:
The use of the site is in harmony with the general purpose and intent
of the Zoning By-Law. The proposed use of the Premises is residence, and
the relief is required to provide access and utilities to that use.
The proposed use complies with the purposes and standards of the
relevant sections of the Zoning By-Law. Driveways are permitted in
residence districts within the Floodplain and Watershed Protection
District where alternative means of access are impractical.
The site is an appropriate location for residential use and is
compatible with the characteristics of the surrounding residential
4. The use as developed and operated will create
positive impacts and potential adverse impacts will be mitigated.
Erosion control measures will be installed in accordance with the
Conservation Commission's Negative Determination of Applicability. Site
Plan Review will be required if more than 2500 SF of slopes in excess of
10% are affected by the proposed construction.
5. There will be
no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians created by the
installation of the driveway. The DPW will review the proposed
construction through its Street Opening Permit Process to ensure that
work is conducted in a safe manner within the right-of-way.
6. The project meets accepted design standards and criteria for functional design.
the reasons set forth hereinabove, the Board voted unanimously to
approve the Special Permit A1 to construct a portion of the driveway
serving the proposed dwelling at 190 Downer Avenue within the Floodplain
and Watershed Protection District in accordance with Section III-C,
4.e. of the Hingham Zoning By-Law.
This Decision shall not become
effective until (i) the Town Clerk as 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 Town of Hingham
Board of Appeals,
Joseph W. Freeman, Chairman
January 7, 2014