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Applicant and             Bryce Blair

Property Owner:         153 Otis Street

                                    Hingham, MA  02043


Premises:                     153 Otis Street

                                    Hingham, MA  02043


Deed Reference:         Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Book 39373, Page 51



This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals on the application of Bryce Blair (the “Applicant”) for a Special Permit A1 under §III-C, 4 of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to construct a 75' long wooden pier with a 32' gangway and a 10' x 20' float in the Flood Plain and Watershed Protection District at 153 Otis Street (the “Property”), in Residence District A.


A public hearing was duly noticed and held on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 with a continuation hearing held on May 23, 2012 at the Town Hall before a panel consisting of regular members

W. Tod McGrath, Chairman, Joseph M. Fisher and Joseph W. Freeman.  The Applicant was represented by John Cavanaro, P.E., Cavanaro Consulting, Inc., Norwell, MA.



The Applicant is the owner of the Property located at 153 Otis Street, a waterfront parcel on Hingham Harbor.  The Property has over 109’ of ocean frontage, anchored by a stone retaining seawall.  The Applicant’s proposed use is a footbridge and boat landing for outdoor recreation including boating and fishing. 


The application filed with the Board of Appeals originally called for a dock/pier structure that was ±127’ in total length and was to be located on the eastern portion of the Property.  After meeting with the Hingham Conservation Commission the dock/pier structure was scaled back to a length not to exceed 82’ and was relocated to the western portion of the Property due to existing rock outcroppings in the area.  The Applicant received an Order of Conditions from the Conservation Commission on May 23, 2012.


The Applicant submitted a revised Site Plan to Accompany Dock Notice of Intent dated April 30, 2012 prepared by Cavanaro Consulting, 687 Main Street, Norwell, MA and stamped by John C. Cavanaro, Civil, RPE.  The revised Site Plan shows a 52’ long pier, 20’ long gangway and 10’ long float, totaling 82’ in total length.


The Board, Applicant and the Applicant’s representative discussed the reasons for scaling back the size of the original structure.  During the meetings with the Hingham Conservation Commission abutters and harbor users, as well as the Hingham Harbormaster, spoke about the use of that area for recreational boaters, water skiers, kayakers, etc. and concerns with the dock/pier structure interfering with the public’s use.  Also the presence of the rock outcroppings was of concern to many. The Applicant agreed to shorten the structure, noting it will also have less visual impacts on the harbor area.


The Board and Applicant also discussed the potential construction-related environmental damage to abutting properties that could occur as a result if a barge is used for construction and the anchoring system for the barge.



After consideration of the Applicant’s proposal, together with the plans and diagrams submitted by the Applicant, the Board of Appeals finds that the proposed dock/pier structure is appropriate for the recreational boating uses proposed by the Applicant, and will not have any significant adverse consequences to the zoning district.  The Board also finds that the Order of Conditions as issued by the Hingham Conservation Commission adequately addresses the environmental issues.                              



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 an 82’ dock/pier structure in the Flood Plain and Watershed Protection District, subject to the following conditions:


1.The design of the dock shall be as depicted in the revised plans submitted by the      Applicant dated April 30, 2012 and representations made at the public hearing.

2.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.

3.No davits shall be placed on the dock or float.

4.No lights shall be installed on the dock other than lights with amber lenses for safety            walking on the dock.

5.No ornamentation (flags, lights, windsocks, etc.) shall be erected or placed on the dock.

6.No rafting of motorized vessels shall be permitted.

  1. The rail shall be continuous and rail posts shall not exceed forty inches (40”) in height.

8.No vessels shall be tied or moored at the dock except directly to the float.

9.The dock shall be maintained in good condition.

  1. If a construction barge is to be used, it is to be limited to no more than 40’ and should be anchored at both the stern and bow during construction to keep the barge in alignment with the construction center line of the dock.  If determined that a barge larger than 40’ is needed the Applicant must get approval from the Building Commissioner.


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, 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 Zoning Board of Appeals




                                                                                    Joseph W. Freeman

                                                                                    July 5, 2012