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Board of Appeals



Owner/Applicant: Casa Development, Inc.
20 Winthrop Square
Boston, MA 02110

Property: 0 Lincoln Street (Assessors Map 35, Lot 66)
Hingham, MA 02043

Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 43807, Page 171

Plan Reference: Plan entitled, "Site /Landscape Plan" prepared by Bohler Engineering, 352 Turnpike Road, Southborough, MA, dated March 20, 2015, revised through July 17, 2015, Sheet 3


This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) at the request of Attorney Frank A. Marinelli on behalf of Casa Development, Inc. (the “Applicant”) for a Minor Modification to the Hingham Shipyard Mixed-Use Special Permit issued under § IV-G of the Zoning By-Law (the "By-Law") on May 12, 2003, as amended, to change the approved use of the property at 0 Lincoln Street (the "Property") from Useable Open Space to General Commercial.

The Board reviewed the request jointly with the Planning Board during a duly posted public meeting on June 29, 2015 in Hingham Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The Board panel consisted of its regular members W. Tod McGrath, Chairman, Joseph M. Fisher and Joseph W. Freeman. During the joint meeting, the Planning Board determined that the project constituted a minor site plan in accordance with § I-I, 5. of the By-Law and voted to waive its Site Plan Review in connection with the Special Permit A2 Modification. The Applicant then requested a continuance of the Zoning Board's proceedings to allow time for the Conservation Commission and Planning Board to complete independent, but related reviews of proposed improvements to the Property. The Applicant also agreed to consider future public access to the waterfront portion of the Property in advance of a continued public meeting held on August 3, 2015. At the conclusion of this subsequent meeting, the Board voted unanimously to approve the Minor Modification with conditions.

The Applicant was represented during the public meetings by Attorney Marinelli, Buzz Constable and Rich Beale of A.W. Perry, and Josh Swerling of Bohler Engineering.

Throughout its deliberations, the Board has been mindful of the statements of the Applicant and the comments of the general public, all as made or received at the public meeting.


The subject property consists of approximately 24,121 SF or 0.55 acres and is presently unimproved. It is located within the overall Shipyard Mixed-Use Development. The 2003 approved plans for the Hingham Shipyard designated a portion of this parcel as parking and a portion as "Usable Open Space." The designation was maintained by the 2007 Major Modification for the Samuels portion of the Shipyard. In 2010, TD Bank located at 421 Lincoln Street, which then included this parcel. The Planning Board approved the development under Site Plan Review and endorsed an ANR plan dividing the subject property (Lot 2B) from the remainder of 421 Lincoln Street (Lot 2A). Since no change of use was proposed at the time, TD Bank sought and obtained a "consistency review" or staff approval to divide the property. Aerial photography submitted by the Applicant from 2013 suggests that the parcel has since served entirely as boat storage.

The present owner, Casa Development, Inc., now seeks approval to convert the approved use of the parcel entirely to General Commercial. Casa Development also owns the adjacent Volvo dealership at 425 Lincoln Street. Although contiguous to the subject property, 425 Lincoln Street is not part of the Shipyard Special Permit. The Applicant would like to expand its parking lot and vehicle storage area onto the Property. Lot 66 will also provide the dealership with a secondary means of access to and from Lincoln Street via its signalized intersection with Essington Drive.

The proposed change in use would result in a reduction of less than 0.5% in the amount of Open Space within the overall Shipyard. A total of 17.28% of the Shipyard Mixed-Use Development would remain dedicated to Open Space, which value exceeds the 15% minimum required under § IV-G of the By-Law. Likewise, the addition of the Property to General Commercial Use results in a de minimus change. The requested change in use also qualifies as a "Minor Amendment" as defined in Mixed-Use Special Permit for the Hingham Shipyard issued May 12, 2003, as amended.

During the initial review, the Board expressed general support for the proposed change in use; however, members also shared their interest in maintaining limited open space on the parcel for a future waterfront amenity. In response, the Applicant proposed a pedestrian walkway that could potentially be constructed by the Town in the future. The Applicant prepared a revised plan to depict the proposed "Area Available for Future Waterside Passage Way," which the Board reviewed on August 3, 2015. The designated area follows the westerly property line and is proposed to be a minimum of 8.5' in width along the coastal bank at 0 Lincoln Street. The designated area then continues onto 425 Lincoln Street, but narrows to a mere 2' in certain areas before ending completely approximately 18' before the state layout begins. The Board asked the Applicant to maximize the future waterside passageway on 425 Lincoln Street to the extent possible in order to minimize the need for cooperation on the part of the adjacent landowner, Sea Chain Marina, to physically develop the amenity in the future. The Applicant offered to reserve the area depicted on 0 Lincoln Street, as well as an expanded area on 425 Lincoln Street, for potential future development of a pedestrian walkway by the Town or other public agency.

Finally, as noted in the Summary of Proceedings, the Planning Board voted to waive Site Plan Review in connection with the Special Permit A2 application on June 29, 2015. The Planning Board also separately heard a related Special Permit A3/Parking Determination and Site Plan Review application for the proposed parking and vehicle storage areas on the subject property and the adjacent Volvo Village Dealership at 425 Lincoln Street. The Board issued its Parking Determination, which affects both lots, on July 21, 2015. The Conservation Commission likewise voted on July 20, 2015 to issue an Order of Conditions for the proposed work. Casa Development must still complete the Site Plan Review proceedings in connection with the Special Permit A3.


Based on the information submitted with the application and presented during the meetings, the Board finds that the proposed modification constitutes a "Minor Amendment" as defined by the Mixed-Use Special Permit for the Hingham Shipyard. The Board further finds that the proposed change in use of the Property from "Useable Open Space" to "General Commercial" does not affect the specific findings made by the Board in conjunction with its previously issued Special Permits for the Hingham Shipyard.

Upon a motion made by W. Tod McGrath and seconded by Joseph W. Freeman, the Board then voted unanimously to GRANT the Special Permit Minor Modification to change the approved use of the Property from Useable Open Space to General Commercial, subject to the following Conditions:

1. The improvements to the Property shall be completed in accordance with the approved plans and representations made to the Board during the public meetings.

2. This approval is limited such that the Applicant is prohibited from operating any other General Commercial Use other than that depicted on the plan, or locating structures on the Property in support of the permitted use, without application to and subsequent approval by the Board of a Special Permit Modification.

3. The Applicant, for itself and its successors and assigns, shall reasonably cooperate with the Town of Hingham (the "Town") and make available the land area labeled on the approved plans as "Area Available for Future Waterside Passage Way" for a potential pedestrian "waterside passageway" (the "Future Project"). The Future Project shall be constructed by the Town or other public agency at no cost to the Applicant after approval of the Future Project Plans by the Applicant. Approval of Future Project plans shall be granted by the Applicant provided that: 1.) the Future Project does not create a material adverse impact to, or change in topography of, the property and/or use located at 0 and 425 Lincoln Street, Hingham, MA; 2.) there is cooperation of other necessary landowner(s) with the Future Project; 3.) the Town obtains required final permits and approvals for the Future Project at no expense to the Applicant; and 4.) a reasonably satisfactory and enforceable agreement is executed between the Applicant and the Town. In the event that the Future Project is constructed by the Town or other public agency, there shall not be any fee charged by the Applicant for the use of such waterside passageway.

For The Board of Appeals,

Joseph W. Freeman
August 31, 2015