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Applicant: WSM Hingham Properties, LLC
S. R. Weiner & Associates, Inc.
1330 Boylston Street
Chestnut Hill, MA 02167

Premises: 100 Derby Street
Hingham, MA

Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Book 20043, Page 290

This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals on the application of WSM Hingham Properties, LLC (the “Applicant”) for modification to the existing Special Permit A1 and Variances dated February 10, 2003, as amended through August 22, 2005, under §V-B of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to allow a 71.74sq ft. sign on the facade of the Summer Shack restaurant at the Derby Street Shoppes, 96 Derby Street (the “Property”), a Retail Group in the Industrial Park District.

A public hearing was duly noticed and held on Thursday, December 3, 2009, in the Town Hall at 210 Central Street. The panel consisted of regular members Joseph M. Fisher, Chairman, W. Tod McGrath and Joseph W. Freeman. The Applicant was represented by restaurant owner Jasper White, Richard Simmons of A/E/C Solutions and Carolyn Kennedy, Site Manager for Derby Street Shoppes. No comments were received from other Town boards or officials or abutters.

This Property has been the subject of previous hearings and decisions by the Zoning Board of Appeals relative to the overall design and layout of the shopping plaza. The hearings and decisions were extensive and have addressed numerous topics including signs, parking and location of facilities within the site.

When the Derby Street Shoppes were originally permitted in 2002 and 2003 a substantial amount of time was spent on tenant building signs. At that time the Board found that the sign regulations applicable to the Industrial Park District did not adequately anticipate, and were not practical in application to, a large, multi-tenanted shopping center such as the Derby Street Shoppes. The Board recognized that a viable shopping center must allow each tenant to promote its presence within the center, and that the shopping center as a whole needs to create an identity through signage. The Board also found that customary signage concerns are of less significance in this particular case because the shopping center will for the most part be self-contained, meaning that most of the signage at issue will not be visible from adjacent roadways.

Therefore previous permits issued for signs included a sign protocol for the various buildings and locations on the site. Specifically, each tenant is allowed to have one primary sign located on their storefront, with a maximum of two primary signs permitted where the tenant has more than one prominent exterior façade and/or more than one main entrance with sidewalk access. The location of this restaurant does not have more than one prominent exterior façade nor does it have more than one main entrance with sidewalk access, therefore additional relief is needed.

The Applicant has received a total of 118sq.ft. of approved signage for the restaurant (one primary and supplemental signs on awnings); under the permit they would be allowed to have a total of 209sq.ft. of primary and supplemental signage. The Applicant is proposing to add an additional “mural” type of sign measuring 71.74sq.ft to the front of the façade bringing the total square footage for signs to 190sq.ft. This “mural” type of sign is considered an additional primary sign for this location.

During the course of the hearing it was determined that relief in the form of a modification to the Special Permit A1 was the only relief needed as the Variances previously granted were specific to signs for corner buildings, awnings, blade signs and buildings facing Route 3. Therefore the Board dismissed the need for a Variance deeming it unnecessary.

Based upon the application and representations made at the public hearing, the Board determined that the proposed modification to allow an additional “mural” type sign on the facade of the restaurant at the Derby Street Shoppes 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.

The Board voted unanimously to GRANT the modification to the existing Special Permit A1 to allow a 71.74sq.ft. sign on the facade of the Summer Shack restaurant at the Derby Street Shoppes subject to the following conditions:

1. sign to be installed in accordance with plans presented and representations made at the hearing, and
2. sign is limited to this Applicant only and is not transferable to succeeding tenants.

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,

W. Tod McGrath
January 21, 2010