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TOWN OF HINGHAM
Board of Appeals
SPECIAL PERMIT DECISION
IN THE MATTER OF:
Applicant/Owner: James E. Bristol, III and David B. Bristol, Trustees
Old Derby Nominee Trust
37 Derby Street, Suite 4B
Hingham, MA 02043
Premises: 306 Whiting Street
Hingham, MA 02043
Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry District of Deeds, Book 44197, Page 210
Plan References: Plans entitled, "Weathervane Golf Academy, Signage Plan," prepared by CHA, 101 Accord Park Drive, Norwell, MA, dated December 22, 2015, Sheet SP-1, and signage drawings and specifications, prepared by Gamit Signs, 24 Spencer Street, Stoneham, MA, dated December 14, 2015, 3 Sheets.
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS:
This matter came before the Board of Appeals on the application of James E. Bristol, III and David B. Bristol, Trustees of Old Derby Nominee Trust (the “Applicant”), seeking issuance of a Special Permit A1 under Section V-B of the Hingham Zoning By-Law (the "By-Law"), and such other relief as necessary, to install to install two ground signs at 306 Whiting Street (the “Property”) in the Office Park and South Hingham Development Overlay District.
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on January 20, 2016. The Board of Appeals panel consisted of its regular members: Joseph M. Fisher, Chairman, Joseph W. Freeman, and W. Tod McGrath. The Applicant was represented by Attorney Jeffery Tocchio. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested relief, with conditions as set forth below.
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 hearing.
BACKGROUND and DISCUSSION:
The Property consists of 28.4 acres of land, improved by a free-standing restaurant building and patio, a golf pro shop, and golf practice facilities. The Property has been the subject of various zoning decisions stemming from its prior use as a quarry, the suitability of the Property for residential use under a prior residential zoning classification, and for restaurant and outdoor recreational use within the current Office Park zoning classification.
The Applicants propose to install two new ground signs to the property to properly identify the permitted uses onsite. Whiting Street (Route 53) is a relatively high speed roadway with a significant right of way width. Ledge outcroppings also obscure views of the driveway sign from southbound vehicles. The proposed ground signs are intended to provide adequate advance notice of site entrance. These signs are more specifically describes as follows:
(i) One illuminated ground sign, with overall dimensions of 9’ x 6.8’ (61.2 SF), mounted on a base comprised of a single block of Weymouth Seam-Face Granite, with weathered copper backing, with solid black letters. The individual letters will be back halo-lit in white, and the sign face for the two establishments shall be only 18 SF for the restaurant, and 11.125 SF for the golf academy, resulting in less than 30 SF of commercial message; and
(ii) One illuminated parallel sign, with overall dimensions of 2’ x 6.5’ (13 SF), with weathered copper backing with black letters. The lettering on the sign face, “The Range Bar & Grille”, is 4.83 SF in area, and the sign is to be mounted to the face of an existing granite ledge outcropping, and illuminated by white external lighting that will illuminate the ledge as well. This parallel sign is located more than 30 feet away from the frontage, and approximately 200 feet from the ground sign, which is hidden from view from southbound motorists due to ledge outcroppings, and is intended to provide a visual queue to motorists approaching from the north.
Properties within the Office Park are able to install multiple ground signs of up to 50 SF/200' of frontage upon issuance of a special permit. In the present case, the Applicant would be eligible for a special permit to install ground signs totaling approximately 290 SF; however, the Applicant has only requested approval to install the two signs described above, which conservatively total approximately 74 SF. If the dimensions of the lettering, as opposed to the entire sign panel, are measured, the signs would collectively amount to approximately 44 SF.
Based upon the information submitted and received at the hearing, the Board has determined that:
1. The proposed use will be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the By-Law. The proposed signage promotes allowed uses on the site, consistent with prior permitting decisions of the Board.
2. The proposed use complies with the purposes and standards of the relevant specific sections of the By-Law. The proposed signage complies with the parameters specified in Section V-B. Namely, the proposed signage meets all setback, area and height limitations, and incorporates permitted methods of illumination.
3. The specific site is an appropriate location for such use, structure, or condition, compatible with the characteristics of the surrounding area. The proposed is located in the Office Park and South Hingham Development Overlay District. The proposed signage promotes permitted businesses on the property. The signage also incorporates materials, such as granite, which are native to the area.
4. The use as developed and operated will create positive impacts or potential adverse impacts will be mitigated. No adverse impacts will be created by installation of the proposed signage.
5. There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians. The signage is designed to promote and allow the safe and efficient identification of the property by customers travelling in motor vehicles at higher traffic speeds.
6. Adequate and appropriate facilities exist or will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use. The proposed signs will be adequately supported and/or affixed.
7. The proposal meets accepted design standards and criteria for the functional design of facilities, structures, stormwater management, and site construction.
For the reasons set forth hereinabove, at the conclusion of the public hearing, the Board of Appeals unanimously voted the following:
1. GRANT a Special Permit A1 under Section V-B approving the installation of:
(i) One illuminated ground sign, with overall dimensions of 9’ x 6.8’ (61.2 SF), mounted on a base comprised of a single block of Weymouth Seam-Face Granite, with weathered copper backing, with solid black letters. The individual letters will be back halo-lit in white. To be installed at a setback of ten (10) feet or greater from the right of way, and total height not to exceed twelve (12) feet from the grade at the base of the granite base; and
(ii) One illuminated parallel sign, with overall dimensions of 2’ x 6.5’ (13 SF), with weathered copper backing with black letters. The sign is to be mounted to the face of an identified existing granite ledge outcropping, and illuminated by white external lighting that may illuminate the ledge as well.
2. CONDITIONED that the installed copper backing be dulled, by advance weathering, oxidization or other chemical process, to remove any shiny, reflective properties that may cause an unsafe reflection of vehicle headlights.
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 25, 2016