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TOWN OF HINGHAM
BOARD OF APPEALS
Applicant: Matthew and Colleen Pike
11 Howard Road, Hingham, MA 02043
Property Owner: 11 Howard Road Nominee Trust
Premises: 11 Howard Road
Hingham, MA 02043
Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Book 38983 Page 322 & 3
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS:
This matter came before the Board of Appeals for the consideration of the request by Matthew and Colleen Pike (petitioners) for a Special Permit A1 under Section III-C, 4 of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to construct a pile supported dock with seasonal gangway and float in the Flood Plain and Watershed Protection District at property known as 11 Howard Road, Residence District A.
The Board of Appeals heard the application at a duly advertised and noticed public hearing on May 22, 2013 at the Town Hall before a panel consisting of regular members Joseph W. Freeman, acting Chairman, and W. Tod McGrath and associate member David Anderson. The Applicant was represented by Rod Gaskell of SITEC.
The application materials submitted on April 4, 2013 included the following:
On April 9, 2013 the application was made complete with the filing of the certified list of abutters (4 pages including cover). On April 26, 2013 we received five (5) copies of the Order of Conditions approving the project issued on April 4, 2013 by the Conservation Commission.
Rod Gaskell of SITEC spoke to his familiarity with Hingham and the regulations. He stated the request was for a Special Permit A1 under the Flood Plain and Watershed Protection district for a use that is permitted subject to conditions in this zone. He stated that on March 16, 2013 the Conservation Commission determined that the application as presented to them met 16 substantive standards and voted to approve the application the same night. In describing the site he stated that it is a steep coastal bank comprised of glacial till with 180’ of waterfront. The applicant would like to extend a dock 150’ which is the maximum allowed. Mr. Freeman asked if there was the same water depth issue as with the neighboring Garrity property and Mr. Gaskell answered in the affirmative. Mr. Freeman asked if the dock was within the side yard setbacks and Mr. Gaskell said no. He stated that the land is approximately 35’-40’ above the water and that the wave energy removes small particulates resulting in a cobbley beach with a narrow marsh area. The new dock has proposed lighting that are no more than 25 watt incandescent lamps, no more than 24’ high from walking deck and more than 12’ apart. The decking over the marsh area will allow light to filter through as required for the sea grass. The Board discussed the slight encroachment of a deck and stairway onto the adjacent property. The applicant agreed that the existing stairway and deck will be modified or moved to be entirely within the lot and thus eliminate the encroachment. The Board discussed with the applicant that there are conditions that typically are placed on docks of this type. The Board then discussed them with the applicant sequentially as follows and asked the applicant if they would be agreeable to them as discussed. The conditions discussed were that the design of the dock shall be as depicted in the plans submitted by the Applicant dated March 29, 2013 and representations made at the public hearing; the anchor piles and the float shall each bear the identification of the owner or address of the property, such that if they break loose or float away the owner can be identified; no davits shall be placed on the dock or float; no lights shall be installed on the dock other than lights with amber lenses for safety walking on the dock; no ornamentation (flags, lights, windsocks, etc.) shall be erected or placed on the dock; no rafting of motorized vessels shall be permitted; the rail shall be continuous and rail posts shall not exceed forty two inches (42”) in height and spacing between balusters shall be 3 times the width of each baluster but shall not exceed building code requirements; no vessels shall be tied or moored at the dock except directly to the float; and, the dock shall be maintained in good condition. The agent and applicant confirmed that they were amenable to the proposed conditions as discussed.
After consideration of the Applicant’s proposal, together with the plans, diagrams and photos submitted by the applicant and agent, the Board found that the proposed dock/pier structure is in harmony with the with the intent and specific sections of the By-Law because it is an oceanfront home with 180’ of frontage; the proposed use is a permitted use in this setting; and, other adjacent structures have docks. The Board found the site is appropriate for the proposed use because of the elevation of the land above the water, the existing sea wall structure, the cobble beach and that the proposed design will work with all these features. In addition, the dock is placed in the center of the 180’ of frontage and the existing sea wall provides physical stability for the dock. The Board found the proposal consistent with the Town’s past practices and standards, the dock is shorter than docks to the west and the same as the dock to the east, the lighting as proposed meets standards, and it is consistent with wetland regulations. The Board finds that the proposal as designed will create positive impacts and potential adverse impacts will be mitigated in that the lateral movement of pedestrians on the top of the sea wall will be preserved, and that the proposal meets accepted design standards and criteria for the functional design of facilities, structures, and site construction in that the dock is a well engineered structure and an appropriate accessory use to the residential use.
RULING AND DECISION:
Based upon the findings of the Board as set forth above, the Board of Appeals voted unanimously to GRANT the Applicant a Special Permit A1 under Section III-C, 4 of the Zoning By-Law to construct a pile supported dock with seasonal gangway and float in the Flood Plain and Watershed Protection District at property known as 11 Howard Road, Residence District A, subject to the following conditions:
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 such an appeal has been filed within such time, 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 M. Fisher
June 10, 2013