View Other Items in this Archive | View All Archives | Printable Version




Applicant:        Black Rock Residential, LLC        
        c/o Northland Residential, LLC
        20 Mall Road           
        Burlington, MA 01803

Premises:        The Residences at Black Rock - Phase 4                                                            Off Ward Street      
Title Reference:    Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 38053 Page 48-54                                                                                                                          
Plan References:    Plans entitled “Blackrock Residential Community, Phase Four Site Plan,”                 prepared by Hoyt Land Surveying and Hardy Engineering, 1287 Washington                 St., Weymouth, MA, dated October 25, 2013, revised October 30, 2013,                 Sheets 1-5 and "Proposed Lighting Photometric Plan," prepared by Vincent                 DiIorio, Inc., 89 Access Rd # 18, Norwood, MA, dated November 20, 2013,                 Drawing PH-1b.           

This matter came before the Board of Appeals on the application of Black Rock Residential, LLC
c/o Northland Residential, LLC (“Applicant”) for a proposed minor modification of Phase 4 of the Black Rock Development, which was originally approved by the Board as a Residential Cluster Development, pursuant to Section IV-D of the Zoning By-Law, in October 2000.

The Board of Appeals heard the application during noticed public meetings on October 28, 2013, November 4, 2013 and December 5, 2013. The Board of Appeals panel consisted of its regular members Joseph W. Freeman, Chairman, Joseph M. Fisher and W. Tod McGrath. 

The Planning Board reviewed an application for Site Plan Approval in conjunction with the Special Permit Modification pursuant to Section I-G and I-I of the Zoning By-Law on November 20, 2013 and December 2, 2013.  

On October 27, 2000, the Zoning Board granted a Special Permit to Hingham Resources, LLC to construct a Residential Cluster Development consisting of 93 dwelling units and a 18-hole golf course. Section IV-D of the Zoning By-Law provided property owners with the option of constructing Cluster Developments, which could consist of single family and multifamily dwellings with reduced lot area and frontage requirements. Hingham Resources, LLC, at the time of initial application, sought approval to construct predominately two and three-family structures with several single family structures included in the mix.

The development ownership changed from Hingham Resources to Black Rock Development in 2003. Black Rock Development subsequently modified the approved plans. A significant change included a shift from primarily two and three unit buildings to single family homes, which was approved by the Board during a regular meeting in July 2003 based on a finding that the original permit left room for modification, as neither site design nor architectural design was complete at that time. Finally, the Board required that the developer return to present final plans for each phase of construction.

Black Rock Development submitted minor modification requests for roadway and house layout plans within Phases 2 and 3; however, Black Rock Development then went bankrupt sometime after beginning construction on Phase 4, but before returning to the Board for approval of Phase 4 plans. Black Rock Residential, LLC is the present owner and has operated since acquisition in December 2009 under the assumption that all plans had been approved by the relevant authorities. In fact, Black Rock Development had pursued an amended Order of Conditions from the Conservation Commission as late as 2007, but it appears that the last approved plans in the ZBA records dates from 2005. Black Rock Residential has built out most of Phase 4 in accordance with the plans approved by the Conservation Commission, and in a manner consistent with the plans approved by the Board for Phases 2 and 3. Black Rock Residential, LLC c/o Northland Residential, LLC now seeks a minor modification to correct the oversight, though there are only eight units left to be constructed within Phase 4.

The Residential Cluster Development By-Law was replaced in its entirety by the Flexible Development By-Law in April 2001, though the Black Rock Residential Cluster Special Permit was properly exercised prior to the zoning amendment and remains in effect, as modified.

On October 22, 2013, Shawn P. Hardy, P.E., Hardy Engineering, filed an application for a minor modification of an existing Residential Cluster Development Special Permit, issued October 27, 2000, as amended. The proposed modification adjusts particular project details within Phase 4, including: roadway and house layout, street lighting plan, and off street parking.

In accordance with Section I-G and I-I of the Zoning By-Law, the Hingham Planning Board conducted Site Plan Review in connection with the application.  The Planning Board voted to conditionally approve the revised site plans for Phase 4 on December 2, 2013.

Based on the information submitted with the application and presented during the meetings, the Board finds that the proposed changes to Phase 4 do not affect the general purposes of the former Section IV-D - Residential Cluster Development of the Zoning By-Law.  The revised plans continue to meet the required findings contained in Section IV-D, as follows:
a)    Phase 4 of the Black Rock Residential Cluster Development will be in harmony with the general purpose of the By-Law;
b)    Phase 4 of the development plan will not have a detrimental impact on abutting properties as it continues to maintain the required setbacks from adjacent properties and proposes no additional density beyond the 138-unit maximum previously permitted by the Board;
c)    Phase 4 of the cluster plan will be designed with due consideration for health and safety.
1.    The Applicant has added streetlights to those existing on the ground to promote safety within Phase 4. The revised lighting design will also minimizes light pollution from the site in accordance with conditions of the Planning Board's Site Plan Approval. 
2.    Northland Residential, LLC build out of the phase to date complies with the Conservation Commission's 2007 Order of Conditions, but the Applicant has also agreed to address drainage concerns raised during the meetings by residents and members of the condominium trust and in accordance with conditions of the Planning Board's Site Plan Approval.
3.    Off-street parking areas, as revised, will adequately support the development and will not pose safety issues. All units meet or exceed parking requirements for residential uses.
d)    Phase 4 as revised will not affect the dedicated open space within the development as initially approved and will continue to be built out in a manner consistent with Phase 1, 2 and 3 of the development in terms of housing styles and mix.
e)    Phase 4 is consistent with the provisions of Section I-G of the Zoning By-Law as evidenced by the Planning Board's Site Plan Approval, granted December 2, 2013, and filed herein.

Based upon the findings set forth above, the Board of Appeals voted unanimously to GRANT the minor Special Permit Modification subject to the following general conditions:

1.    All conditions of previous Special Permit Decisions for the Premises remain in effect unless specifically modified by this Decision.

2.    Phase 4 will be constructed in accordance with the plans submitted with the application, incorporated by reference herein, and the representations made at the public hearing.

3.    The decision of the Planning Board entitled “Notice of Decision, Site Plan Review in Association with a Modification to the Special Permit A2," dated December 2, 2013, is attached hereto and incorporated herein.  In accordance with the provisions of the Hingham Zoning By-Law the conditions imposed in the Planning Board decision are binding conditions to this decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals.

For the Board of Appeals,

Joseph W. Freeman, Chairman
December 11, 2013