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Owner/Applicant: Hingham Shipyard Marinas
24 Shipyard Drive
Hingham, MA 02043

Premises: Hingham Shipyard
349 Lincoln Street
Hingham, MA 02043

Deed Reference: Plymouth Registry of Deeds, Book 34014, Page 53

This matter came before the Board of Appeals on the application of Hingham Shipyard Marinas (the “Applicant”) LLC for a Major Amendment to the existing Mixed-Use Special Permit under §IV-G and Site Plan Review issued to Sea Chain, LLC, dated May 12, 2003, as amended through November 20, 2009 under §I-G with Site Plan Review to be done by the Planning Board under §I-I along with Special Permit A3 parking waiver, if necessary under §V-A of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to allow a change in use for the first floor of the "Marina Building" from retail to gym/fitness, allowing a 1,614sq.ft. “Curves” franchise to be located at 24 Shipyard Drive (the “Property”), in the Industrial District. This site was included as part of the Mixed Use Special Permit approved in 2003 for the redevelopment of the Hingham Shipyard.

The two boards heard the application at a duly advertised and noticed joint public hearing on Thursday, January 7, 2010 at the Hingham Town Hall at 210 Central Street. The Board of Appeals panel consisted of its regular members: Joseph M. Fisher, Chairman, Joseph W. Freeman and W. Tod McGrath. Planning Board members present were Paul Healey, Susan Murphy, Judy Sneath, Gary Tondorf-Dick and Sarah Corey. The Applicant was represented by Mark and Jay Hirsch.

The Property, an 8,660sq.ft. building, was included as part of the Hingham Shipyard redevelopment that was initially permitted under a Mixed-Use Special Permit in 2003. The Applicant proposes to fit out approximately 1,641sq.ft. of ground floor space to accommodate a “Curves” fitness facility. This proposed modification represents a change in use in this area from the originally approved retail space and in accordance with subsection C of Condition #3 of the amended Mixed-Use Special Permit this change qualifies as a Major Amendment. The Applicant was granted a minor modification in July 2009 to allow 835sq.ft. of second floor space to a prosthodontist, a type of dentist who specializes in complex dental restorations.

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.

In accordance with Section I-I of the Zoning By-Law, the Planning Board reviewed the Applicant’s proposal and determined that the proposed work was limited to interior renovations and did not materially or adversely affect conditions governed by the site plan review standards set forth in Section I-I 6. Therefore the Planning Board voted to waive the requirement for Site Plan Review in association with the modification to the Mixed-Use Special Permit A2.

The Planning Board did however discuss with the Applicant the proposed change of use and the effect it has on the off-street parking requirements set forth in the Zoning By-Law. The proposed change of use from retail to health club increases the number of parking spaces needed from 19 to 27. The Applicant proposes to address the 8 space parking deficit by dedicating eight of the spaces in the parking lot they own across Shipyard Drive (known as the “Supplemental Commuter Parking Lot”) for use by “Curves” customers and employees. The Planning Board and the Applicant had a lengthy discussion on this issue and ultimately the Planning Board voted to GRANT the requested Special Permit A3 to modify the approved parking plan subject to conditions. Details of this discussion along with the conditions imposed are included in the Planning Board’s decision on the Special Permit A3.

Board of Appeals members benefited from hearing the Planning Board’s comments on the parking issues and its final determination on the waiver of Site Plan Approval and Special Permit A3 with conditions. They then discussed with the Applicant the proposed change of use within the building. The Applicant explained that 30% of the building remains dedicated to marina related uses and that they have been trying for the past few years to bring in similar uses to no avail. The Applicant stated that this facility, with the circuit type of training, will allow a presently unoccupied portion of the building to be occupied with a minimally intensive use to both the building and the site. The Applicant stated that minimal interior work would need to be done to allow for the proposed use; the “Curves” facility would not have shower facilities, although the building itself does offer these facilities for boaters who use the marina.

Board members and the Applicant discussed proposed hours of operation and all were in agreement that due to the nature of the facility it would be reasonable to allow for a 6:00 a.m. opening and 9:00 p.m. closing.

Based upon the application and representations made at the public hearing, the Board determined that the proposed modification to allow the use of 1,641sq.ft. of ground floor space in the “Marina Building” at 24 Shipyard Drive to accommodate a fitness facility will not adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of the general public, or the Town generally, nor create adverse impacts on its surrounding area.

Therefore the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the Major Amendment to the existing Mixed-Use Special Permit to allow a change in use for the first floor of the “Marina Building" from retail to gym/fitness, allowing a 1,614sq.ft. “Curves” franchise to be located at 24 Shipyard Drive subject to the following conditions:

1. Hours of operation to be no earlier than 6:00 a.m. and no later than 9:00 p.m. and
2. The change of use from retail to gym/fitness is limited to the “Curves” type of facility in that it is a pre-determined circuit routine that is designed to be completed in 30 minutes.

This decision shall not take effect until a copy of the decision bearing the certification of the Town Clerk, that twenty (20) days have elapsed since the decision has been filed in the office of the Town Clerk and no appeal has been filed, or that if such appeal has been filed, that it has been dismissed or denied, is recorded with the Plymouth County Registry of Deeds and/or the Plymouth County Land Court Registry, and indexed in the grantor index under the name of the record owner or is recorded and noted on the owner’s certificate of title.

For the Board of Appeals,

Joseph W. Freeman
February 24, 2010