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TOWN OF HINGHAM
BOARD OF APPEALS
IN THE MATTER OF:
Applicant and Sharp Street, LLC
Property Owner: 341 Washington Street
Norwell, MA 02061
Premises: 60 Sharp Street
Hingham, MA 02043
Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds,
Certificate of Title No. 109743
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS:
This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the application of Sharp Street LLC (the “Applicant”) for a Special Permit A2 under §III-A, 4.12A of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to allow for a health club to be located in a portion of the building at 60 Sharp Street (the “Property”), in the Industrial Park and South Hingham Development Overlay District, along with Site Plan Review under §I-G and §I-I and a Special Permit A3 parking determination both to be done by the Planning Board.
The Board of Appeals and Planning Board heard the application at a duly advertised and noticed joint public hearing on Monday, July 23, 2012. The Board of Appeals panel consisted of its regular members W. Tod McGrath, Chairman, Joseph M. Fisher and Joseph W. Freeman. Planning Board members present were Judy Sneath, Paul Healey, Bill Ramsey, Gary Tondorf-Dick and Sarah Corey. The Applicant was represented by property owner Kevin Callahan.
The 60 Sharp Street parcel is located on the north side of Sharp Street and is approximately 6 acres in size, the northern third of which consists of wetlands. In 2008 the Applicant received a Special Permit A2, with Site Plan Review, for the conversion of the existing 24,000 square foot manufacturing facility to a 34,000 square foot medical/professional use, enlarging the parking area, upgrading the septic system, and constructing a new drainage system for the property. The conversion is now complete, and the Applicant has been working on leasing space in the building.
On April 24, 2012 the Building Department issued a Building Permit for a tenant fit-up of 1,700 square feet of previously unoccupied space to accommodate a “Curves” health club, a use which requires a Special Permit A2 with Site Plan Review as well as Special Permit A3 (parking determination). Planning Board members voted to waive the requirement for Site Plan Review, as the tenant fit-up had no impacts on the surrounding site and a complete Site Plan Review was done in 2008 for the building conversion.
The Planning Board reviewed the criteria for the Special Permit A3 parking requirements. The Site Plan was approved in 2008 with the necessary number of parking spaces (145) for the proposed medical/office use. In the initial parking calculations this particular space was projected for office use, which would have required seven parking spaces. The off-street parking requirement for all recreational and athletic uses (including health clubs) is one parking space per three participants, which would allow up to twenty-one participants. The Applicant reported that to date there have never been more than eight individuals at any one time using the “Curves” facility. The “Curves” fitness facility provides clients with a workout that is a pre-determined circuit routine that is designed to be completed in 30 minutes. From arrival to departure the average time spent by clients is 40 minutes. Typically the clientele turnover occurs frequently and parking spaces are never occupied for more than one hour.
Further, it was noted that since much of the rest of the building is currently unoccupied there is certainly no parking problem at this time. Finally, there is a condition in the Site Plan Approval that if the uses inside the building should change, or a new tenant occupy some space, that the Building Commissioner should determine whether there is sufficient parking to accommodate the new use. Therefore, the Planning Board determined that a Special Permit A3 for parking was not necessary.
During the course of the hearings, no abutters or members of the public spoke in favor or in opposition to the application.
FINDINGS and DECISION:
After hearing the decision by the Planning Board on both the Site Plan Review and Special Permit A3, the Board of Appeals and the Applicant primarily discussed the hours of operation for the proposed “Curves.” The Applicant represented early morning to late evening would be acceptable to the tenant. The Board had a concern with sight lighting and safety, but was assured by the Applicant that adequate lighting existed since the building and parking lot was recently renovated.
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 proposed health club use 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 proposed health club use.
- The potential adverse impacts of the operation of the health club use will be adequately mitigated.
- The operation of the proposed health club use will not create a nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians.
- Adequate and appropriate facilities will be provided for the proper operation of the health club use.
Therefore the Board of Appeals voted unanimously to GRANT the requested Special Permit A2 to allow for a health club to be located in a portion of the building at 60 Sharp Street, subject to the following conditions:
- The hours of operation shall be no earlier than 5:00 a.m. to no later than 10:00 p.m. The Applicant, at any time, may request a modification to this condition.
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, it has been dismissed or denied, and (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
September 17, 2012