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Site Plan Review


Premises: Ames Chapel
12 South Street (previously 40 Water Street)
Hingham, MA 02043

Date: April 27, 2016

Summary of Proceedings
At a duly noticed public hearing at the meeting of April 11, 2016 Planning Board members Sarah H. Corey, Gary Tondorf-Dick, and Jennifer Gay Smith heard the request for a Site Plan Modification under §I-G and §I-I in conjunction with a proposed modification to the existing Special Permit A3 parking determination under §V-A of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to allow minor changes to the approved plans for the historic Ames Chapel, 40 Water Street, in the Official and Open Space district. Associate Member, Richard Cook, was seated on the A3, but did not participate in the Site Plan Review. John Cavanaro, of Cavanaro Consulting was present for the Applicant, as were Anne Kimball, Larry Lindner and John Davenport.

Project Description
The application before the Board is a request from the Hingham Cemetery Corporation for a Site Plan Modification to codify minor changes to the site that occurred during construction that differ from the approved plans.

Mr. Cavanaro explained that this project, renovation of the historic Ames Chapel, had received two previous Site Plan/Special Permit approvals prior to construction in an effort to fine tune the proposal. He noted that decisions were made during construction in the interests of maintaining the historic authenticity that resulted in minor deviations from the approved plan. The purpose of this application set is to have the approved plans match the final construction. The changes include the addition of curbing in place of the curb stops, addition of one light pole for a total of 7, request to not stripe the parking, and that one of the reserve spaces was constructed. There is no change to the overall amount of parking required, or constructed vs left in reserve. An infiltration trench was installed adjacent to the curbing at the low end of the parking field, and the soil is such that any drainage is expected to infiltrate. He explained that the overall grading was changed by the vault which diverts a great deal of the historic flow to the other side of the chapel, and that also is an improvement. Mr. Cavanaro said that hydro seeding still needs to be done. These changes were made to help maintain the historic integrity of the site, and, minimize the intrusion onto the landscape by the parking.

Findings and Decision
After additional discussion the Board reviewed the Site Plan Review Criteria, and made the following findings:

a. protection of abutting properties against detrimental uses by provision for surface water drainage, fire hydrant locations, sound and site buffers, and preservation of views, light and air, and protection of abutting properties from negative impacts from artificial outdoor site lighting.

The Board discussed the potential drainage implications of the curbing and noted that there is good soil in addition to an infiltration trench at the low point near the curb. The Board acknowledged the overall change in grade by the vault which also diminishes the amount of overland flow to the parking area.

b. convenience and safety of vehicular and pedestrian movement within the site and on adjacent streets; the location of driveway openings in relation to traffic or to adjacent streets, taking account of grades, sight distances and distances between such driveway entrances, exits and the nearest existing street or highway intersections; sufficiency of access for service, utility and emergency vehicles;

c. adequacy of the arrangement of parking, loading spaces and traffic patterns in relation to the proposed uses of the premises; compliance with the off-street parking requirements of this By-Law;

The Board found that there is no change to the overall amount of parking required, or constructed vs left in reserve. They acknowledged it would be difficult to paint stripes on the gravel parking spaces.

d. adequacy of open space and setbacks, including adequacy of landscaping of such areas;

e. adequacy of the methods of disposal of refuse and other wastes resulting from the uses permitted on the site

f. prevention or mitigation of adverse impacts on the Town’s resources, including, without limitation, water supply, wastewater facilities, energy and public works and public safety resources;

g. assurance of positive storm water drainage and snow-melt run-off from buildings, driveways and from all parking and loading areas on the site, and prevention of erosion, sedimentation and storm water pollution and management problems through site design and erosion controls in accordance with the most current versions of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Storm Water Management Policy and Standards, and Massachusetts Erosion and Sediment Control Guidelines.

The Board agreed that the regrading by the vault would effectively reduce the volume of storm water flowing towards the parking spaces. The Board acknowledged the infiltration trench was installed at the lowest point in the parking field, and, that when full any remaining water would discharge overland, but it is not anticipated to be a large volume, if any.

h. protection of natural and historic features including minimizing: the volume of cut and fill, the number of removed trees of 6 inches caliper or larger, the removal of stone walls, and the obstruction of scenic views from publicly accessible locations;

i. minimizing unreasonable departure from the character and scale of buildings in the vicinity or as previously existing on or approved for the site.

The Board acknowledged that these are minor changes to the previously approved plan.

The Board then Moved, Seconded and SO VOTED to Approve the Site Plan Modification to allow minor changes to the parking, drainage and lighting previously approved related to the reuse of the historic Ames Chapel as presented at the hearing and shown on the map titled “SITE PLAN AMES CHAPEL HINGHAM CEMETERY PREPARED FOR: THE HINGHAM CEMETERY CORPORATION 40 WATER STREET HINGHAM, MA 02043, prepared by Cavanaro Consulting, 687 Main Street, PO Box 5175, Norwell, MA 02061, dated 3/17/16, drawing SP, sheet 1 of 1.

Town of Hingham Planning Board

Sarah H. Corey, Chairman

Cc: Town Clerk, Building Department, ZBA, J. Cavanaro


EXECUTED this _____ day of May, 2016

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Plymouth, ss May __, 2016

Then personally appeared Sarah H. Corey, Chairman of the Hingham Planning Board, and acknowledged the foregoing to be the free act and deed of said Board.

_________________________ My Commission Expires March 4, 2022
Dolores A. DeLisle, Notary Public