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May 16, 2016 687 Main Street
Project Site: 687 Main Street
On April 13, 2016, the Second Parish Unitarian Universalist Church (“Applicant”) filed an application (“Application”) for Site Plan Review under Sections I-I and III-B.8.ii of the Hingham Zoning By-Law, subject to and with the benefit of the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) Chapter 40A, Section 3 commonly known as the “Dover Amendment.”
The proposed project included a small entrance and ramp addition to the existing church to install handicap accessible ramps to serve the two first floor levels, and, the existing driveway will be slightly relocated to accommodate the proposed additions. Gutter flow from the addition will be tied into the existing gutters and ultimately discharge to a dry well at the rear of the property to infiltrate at the low point.
The Applicant has requested a waiver from the requirement to provide drainage calculations, a lighting plan and traffic analysis, as there will be minimal change to the drainage, lighting and traffic as a result of this project. The existing use is not expanding or intensifying, as these are primarily accessibility improvements.
A formal public hearing of the Planning Board was duly noticed, opened and closed on May 9, 2016. The Applicant was represented by: John Cavanaro, Cavanaro Consulting, Lisa Shetty, Second Parish, and Gene Raymond, Architect. The Planning Board hearing was conducted by Judy Sneath, William Ramsey, Sarah Corey and Jennifer Gay Smith. Hingham Police Chief Glenn Olsson also attended the hearing. Ms. Corey disclosed that Mr. Raymond is her neighbor, but she does not feel that that will impact her decision in any way.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
This project is a structural and site improvement as part of the protected religious use, and as such the Planning Board took into account the standards of review set forth under the Dover Amendment. Namely, that land or structures may be subject to reasonable regulations concerning the bulk and height of structures and determining yard sizes, lot area, setbacks, open space, parking and building coverage requirements.
BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION
The Project site is developed and used by the Applicant for religious purposes. The adjacent property to the west and the property to the rear are in common ownership also. The project proposes to reduce the side yard setback on the west from 23.4’ to 15.3’, where 20 is required. This is to accommodate the vestibule. The driveway is being shifted slightly to the west as a result of the vestibule installation, and, some existing paved areas are being returned to lawn/landscaped areas. The vestibule is being installed over area that is currently impervious (driveway). As a result the net increase in impervious area is ~100 square feet. Gutter flow from the small addition will be tied into the existing gutter system and will ultimately discharge to a new drywell proposed at the low point on the rear of the church property. There will be small wall mounted light fixtures on the building by the entrance, but, there is no other lighting proposed with this project. The Board asked clarifying questions and asked for questions from the public, but there were none.
Upon closing of the public hearing, the Planning Board made the following findings:
A. The Application involves the use of land and structures at 687 Main Street for religious use.
B. The site is an existing developed site, and the scope of the project relates to accessibility improvements.
C. The project has been reviewed and approved by both the Historic District Commission, and, the Community Preservation Committee.
D. The intensity of the use is not changing as a result of this project. The traffic pattern is not changing as a result of the project. It is reasonable to waive the requirement for a traffic analysis.
E. There is a very minor change in impervious surface (~100 square feet), and, gutter flow from the small addition will be tied into the existing gutter system and will ultimately discharge to a new drywell proposed at the low point on the rear of the church property. As such it is reasonable to waive the requirement for drainage calculations.
F. No outside lighting is being added with the exception of small fixtures mounted on the building. As such, it is reasonable to waive the requirement for a lighting plan.
VOTE AND CONDITIONS
The Board Moved, Seconded and So Voted to waive the requirement to provide drainage calculations, a lighting plan and traffic analysis as there will be minimal change to the drainage, lighting and traffic as a result of this project. The existing use is not expanding or intensifying, as these are primarily accessibility improvements.
Pursuant to the applicable provisions of Massachusetts law and the Hingham Zoning By-Law, including the specific requirements of the Dover Amendment under Massachusetts General Laws 40A, Section 3, the Board Moved, Seconded and SO VOTED to APPROVE Site Plan Review for the Project at 687 Main Street shown on plans entitled “Proposed Site Plan Second Parish of Hingham 687 Main Street Hingham, MA 02043”, prepared by Cavanaro Consulting, dated May 2, 2016, revised to May 9, 2016, Sheet 1 of 1.
Sarah H. Corey
Chairman, Hingham Planning Board
Cc: Town Clerk, J. Cavanaro, Building Dept.,