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TOWN OF HINGHAM
BOARD OF APPEALS
Applicant: 121 Douglas Associates, Inc.
121 Douglas Road, Sutton, MA 01590
Property Owner: S. John Hajjar, Trustee Anchor Plaza Realty Trust
134 East Howard Street, Quincy, MA 02169
Premises: 211 Lincoln Street
Hingham, MA 02043
Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Book 22660 Page 46
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS:
This matter came before the Board of Appeals on the application of 121 Douglas Associates Inc., (petitioner) 121 Douglas Road, Sutton, MA (the “Applicant”) for a modification to the existing Special Permit A2, as amended through October 4, 2007, under section III-A, 4.9A, with Site Plan Review to be done by the Planning Board under §I-G and §I-I of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to allow for beer and wine tastings as well as the service of small plates of food to be prepared on the premises at Ralph's Wine and Spirits, to be located at Anchor Plaza, 225 Lincoln Street (the “Property”), in Business District B and Residence District A.
The Board of Appeals and Planning Board heard the application at a duly advertised and noticed joint public hearing on April 8, 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. Planning Board members present were Judy Sneath, Chairman, William Ramsey, Sarah Corey and Paul Healey. The Applicant was represented by Attorney Peter F. Keenan, Jr.
The Applicant is leasing and has made interior renovations to approximately 5,359 gross floor area of space identified as 211 Lincoln Street, Unit B, for a retail package store which is contained within Anchor Plaza. The Plaza is predominately located within the Business District B. In addition, a portion of the rear of the site is found in the Residence District A. Anchor Plaza has been subject of Variances, Special Permits and Site Plan Review as well as various modifications by the Board of Appeals and the Planning Board in the past.
The business to be conducted at the package store will be the sale of all alcoholic beverages to the public together with the pre-packaged type foods found at other retail liquor stores such as potato chips, nuts and other snack foods, as well as gourmet cheese, dried pastas, olive oil and similar items. Liquor retailers, pursuant to a Section 15 Alcoholic Beverage License, are allowed to conduct tastings in which the retailer serves small pour samples of alcoholic
beverages to customers in the store. The Applicant seeks to allow the preparation and service of cooked food in small plate appetizer type servings in conjunction with those tastings. The Applicant has been issued Class V retail food service permit. That permit allows the sale of pre-packaged food incidental to a primary business. The Applicant has an application pending for a Class II retail food permit which will allow limited food preparation incidental to a primary business with the Board of Health.
The package store contains a countertop at which the tastings will be conducted. Appropriate appliances required for the service of food in conjunction with the tastings will be installed and fourteen (14) stools will be placed in front of the counter for customer seating during the tastings. Food cooked in the package store will not be served at every tasting. Most tastings will either be without food or with cold appetizers such as crackers and cheese. The Applicant currently plans to offer wine tastings with cooked food in small plate appetizer type servings on Wednesday evenings, so called “Corks and Forks Wine Classes.” Reservations will be required and seating will be limited to fourteen (14) people.
With the application the Applicant submitted the following:
- Exhibit A Off Street Parking Schedule, Anchor Plaza, 207-225 Lincoln Street, Hingham, Massachusetts (1 page)
- Unstamped Existing Conditions Plan dated 12/16/2011 prepared by Hoyt Land Surveying, 1287 Washington Street, Weymouth, MA (1 page)
On April 1, 2013 the Applicant’s attorney submitted an Amendment to the Petition that included the package store floor plan.
The Applicant filed for a modification of the Special Permit A2 and Site Plan Approval to allow the preparation and service of cooked food in conjunction with beer and wine tastings as stated hereinabove. The filing of a petition to modify Site Plan Approval is a requirement of the Zoning By-Law in Special Permit A2 cases. The Applicant has requested a waiver of Site Plan Review because no exterior site renovations are involved and the Anchor Plaza parking currently exceeds the parking requirement of the Zoning By-Law with the addition of the package store.
After reviewing the criteria, the Planning Board voted to grant Site Plan Approval, the decision of which is attached hereto and incorporated as Exhibit “A”.
FINDINGS AND DECISION:
Based on the information submitted and received at the hearing, and on other information available to the Board, the Board made the following findings:
- The operation of the retail package store with the preparation and service of cooked food in conjunction with beer and wine tastings is in harmony with the general purposes and intent of the Zoning By-Law.
- The proposed use complies with the applicable purposes and standards of the Zoning By-Law.
- The Property is an appropriate location for the operation of the retail package store with the preparation and service of cooked food in conjunction with beer and wine tastings use.
- The potential adverse impacts will be adequately mitigated.
- The proposed use will not create a nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians.
- Adequate and appropriate facilities exist or will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use.
The Board of Appeals finds that the proposed preparation and service of food is incidental and ancillary to the Applicant’s retail package store business. The Board finds that the preparation and service of food will be limited in scope and time due to the fact that it will be conducted only in conjunction with beer and wine tastings. The Board finds that service will not cause increased traffic or noise nor will it otherwise interfere with customers of the store, Anchor Plaza or the public at large. The Board finds that the servings will have no impact on the health, safety or welfare of customers in the store, Anchor Plaza, the abutters or the Town of Hingham in general. The Board finds that the proposed limited food service will have no significant impact on the design standards and criteria for the functional design of the facilities, structures and/or site access, egress and parking.
At the conclusion of the public hearings the Board of Appeals voted to GRANT the modification to the existing Special Permit A2, as amended through October 4, 2007, to allow for beer and wine tastings as well as the service of small plates of food to be prepared on the premises at Ralph's Wine and Spirits, to be located at Anchor Plaza, subject to the following conditions:
- The decision of the Planning Board entitled “Notice of Decision, Site Plan Review in Association with a Special Permit A2” dated May 6, 2013 is attached hereto and incorporated as Exhibit “A”. 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.
- The so called “Corks and Forks Wine Classes” are to be held on Wednesday evenings. Reservations will be required and seating will be limited to fourteen (14) people.
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 Board of Appeals,
Joseph W. Freeman
June 6, 2013