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Certified Mail #7014 2120 0003 3809 9768


Special Permit A3 with Site Plan Review for a Common Driveway
At 266-276 Whiting Street

Applicant: LCB Berkshire Senior Living Holdings, LLC
3 Edgewater Drive, Suite 101
Norwood, MA 02062

Project Site: 266-276 Whiting Street
Map 187, Lots 2 & 3
Hingham, MA 02043

Registry of Deeds: Book 43665, Page 39

Plan References: “Common Driveway Development Plans for Proposed Penniman Hill Farm & Garden, Inc.”, prepared by Bohler Engineering, dated 12/22/16, revised to 3/28/17, 4 sheets.

“Truck Turn Plan” Prepared for Penniman Hill Farm & Garden, Inc., prepared by Bohler Engineering, dated 3/9/17, 1 sheet.

On March 10, 2017, LCB Berkshire Senior Living Holdings, LLC (the “Applicant”) filed an application (“Application”) for a Special Permit A3 for a Common Driveway, with Site Plan Review pursuant to Section I-G, Section I-I and Section V-A and V-I of the Zoning By-law to create a common driveway for 266-276 Whiting Street. A public hearing of the Planning Board was duly noticed and held on April 3, 2017. The Applicant was represented by Walter Sullivan, Attorney, Jesse Johnson, Bohler Engineering, and Lee Bloom, LCB Senior Living. The Planning Board hearing was conducted by Sarah Corey, Gary Tondorf-Dick, Jennifer Gay Smith and William Ramsey, Acting Chair.

Mr. Sullivan, Attorney for the Applicant, introduced Jesse Johnson, PE, from Bohler Engineering, and Lee Bloom, from LCB Senior Living. Mr. Bloom provided some background on LCB Senior Living, stating that they are an owner/operator company and will be proposing a 90 unit assisted living project at this location in the near future. Memory care will account for 26 of those beds. The Common Driveway application under review is presently the pre-cursor to the full project proposal.

Mr. Sullivan then introduced the application for a Special Permit A3 for a Common Driveway proposed at 266-276 Whiting Street to support the existing use at 266 Whiting Street and a future Assisted Living project that will be proposed at 276 Whiting Street. The current use and structures at 276 Whiting Street will be abandoned. An Assisted Living project is currently being designed and scheduled for submission this spring. The Common Driveway will be constructed entirely on a newly created lot (Lot 3A – 266 Whiting Street). An easement will be granted to the abutting property (Lot 3B – 276 Whiting Street) designated for the residential use. The intent of the driveway is to provide access to Lot 3B for emergency vehicles. Primary access for residents, visitors, and employees will be via curb cut(s) along the frontage. Lot 3A will occasionally use the Common Driveway for access to the existing structures at the rear of the lot.

Jesse Johnson, from Bohler Engineering, then reviewed the project design details and answered questions from the Board. He stated that there is a shared driveway in the same location now that is used for the existing uses on the site. The curb cut exists, and the sight line exceeds the minimum requirements. The drainage presently flows in the direction of the future project, and the intent is to collect the storm water and treat it as part of the design of the storm water management for the LCB Senior Living project. The Board heard public comment, and the applicant team responded to the questions as they were received. Mr. Sullivan then stated for the record that the project meets the application criteria for a Common Driveway, and all required information has been submitted for the record and review by the Board.

The Board reviewed the Construction and Design Standards for Common Driveways, made findings and discussed conditions, as follows:

a) Common Driveways shall provide the following minimum easement widths and minimum paved surface widths as applicable:

Use Served Minimum
Width Minimum
Paved Surface
Residential 24 Feet 20 Feet
Non-residential 40 Feet 24 Feet

Access roads serving individual lots off of Common Driveways shall comply with 527 CMR 1.00, Chapter 18. The Planning Board may require that the Minimum Paved Surface Width of a Common Driveway serving residential multi-family dwellings, non-residential lots or any combination thereof be increased based on the type and volume of traffic projected to be generated by the proposed development, provided that the Minimum Easement Width must at all times be a least 4’ greater than the Minimum Paved Surface Width. If no development is proposed with the application for the Common Driveway, the minimum non-residential standard shall be required. There shall also be provided an 18” cape cod berm on each side of the Common Driveway serving non-residential uses.

The Board found that the minimum paved width and minimum easement width should meet the non-residential standards, and there should be an 18” cape cod berm. This would be a condition. The Board also found that storm water controls will be designed with the LCB Assisted Living project, and that if the LCB project does not advance, the common driveway will not be constructed as proposed. The Applicant said that they do not intend to construct the driveway without the LCB Assisted Living project. The Board found that they would reconsider the design of the Common Driveway if the overall Assisted Living project analysis provided compelling information supporting a different design for the related to storm water management.

b) Common Driveways shall not exceed 400’ in length in residence zoning districts and 800’ in all other zoning districts, measured from the street line to the end of the shared portion of the Common Driveway. Where a Common Driveway exceeds 150’ in length, turnarounds for emergency vehicles shall be provided in locations approved by the Fire Department. There must be adequate directional signage provided identifying the addresses served by the Common Driveway for emergency vehicle response, as well as routine traffic.

The Board found that the Common Driveway is proposed tube 390’ in length. They also found that the fire department signed off on the project in the letter dated 3/27/17.

c) No Common Driveway shall be allowed to be constructed off any cul-de-sac or dead end of a public or private way. No Common Driveway shall be connected or attached to any other Common Driveway. No Common Driveway shall be extended without prior approval of the Planning Board pursuant to this Section V-I.

The Board found that this was not applicable.

d) Sight distances at the entrance of a Common Driveway along the intersecting street shall conform to current American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) standards and be indicated on the plan.

The Board found that this criteria was met, as the minimum requirement is 360’ and there is in excess of 885’ to the south and 700’ to the north.

e) To provide better traffic safety and reduce the visual impacts of traffic on abutting properties, the Planning Board may require Common Driveways to be set back a minimum of 15’ from lot lines and/or be screened with a buffer of trees and/or shrubs.

The Board found that this driveway is to be shared by the adjacent lots, and the design is agreed upon as the first step in a more in depth application process. The driveway is existing now in a more informal condition.

f) Common Driveways shall be constructed using a minimum 12” thick sorted gravel sub-base. The base course shall be a minimum of 2” binder and the top course for paved driveways shall each be a minimum 1 ½” thickness. Surfacing with gravel, crushed stone, or another permeable or semi-permeable surface may be proposed, especially for use within one hundred feet of a wetland or in other sensitive areas.

The Board found that this criteria has been satisfied.

g) Runoff draining onto abutting properties shall not exceed that which existed prior to construction of the Common Driveway, or be concentrated at any one point of discharge. Runoff shall not discharge into the public way. The Design Engineer shall provide a drainage statement and sufficient analysis to support the proposed storm water drainage system, including pre and post construction flows.

The Board found that the existing driveway has existing drainage patterns, and that the LCB Assisted Living Project intends to incorporate drainage from the driveway into the system under design now and treat it prior to discharge, providing a net improvement. The Board found that a condition would be that, if the LCB Assisted Living project does not more forward, the applicant shall provide drainage design for peer review prior to construction of the common driveway.

h) Common Driveway easements may allow space for installation of water lines and other utilities as needed. Utilities shall be shown on the Common Driveway Plan. The Planning Board may require that utilities be installed underground.

The Board found that the Common Driveway Agreement has been received. They found that a condition would be that the Common Driveway Agreement must be filed at the Registry.

i) No portion of a Common Driveway or turning area shall be located above major components of a septic system, including septic tanks, leaching fields, and distribution boxes, except where approved by the Board of Health, and only upon a finding by the Planning Board that there will be no negative impact on access for the lots served by the Common Driveway during future maintenance or replacement of these components.

The Board found that this was not applicable.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted 4-0 to Grant a Special Permit A3 under §V-I of the By-Law for a Common Driveway at 266-276 Whiting Street.

Based on the information submitted and presented during the hearing, and subject to satisfaction of the conditions set forth below, the Board made the following findings under Section I-I, 6 of the By-Law:
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 found that the proposed Common Driveway is actually the improvement of an existing common driveway in use presently and that the Common Driveway Agreement as submitted provides for maintenance of the storm water drainage infrastructure in perpetuity. In addition, the driveway is located immediately between two properties to serve both properties. There will be no hydrant or lighting associated with construction of the common driveway.

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;

The Board found that the sightlines are indicated and sufficient, as discussed in the McMahon memo dated March 7, 2017, and that a truck turning plan was provided to indicate the sufficiency of the driveway and turn around for emergency vehicles and large trucks. The Fire Department memo of March 27, 2017 notes no further comments on the plans.
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 the Common Driveway has been located where the existing driveway is, which also will support emergency vehicle access to the future development on the adjacent property.
d. adequacy of open space and setbacks, including adequacy of landscaping of such areas;

The Board found that this is not applicable.

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

The Board found that this is not applicable.

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;

The Board found that this is not applicable.

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 found that the Storm water will flow as it does presently. The design of the adjacent site will collect the drainage and treat it prior to discharge, thus improving water quality. The Board also found that the erosion controls will be as shown on the plans.

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;

The Board found that this is not applicable.
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 found that this is not applicable.

a) The parking is sufficient in quantity to meet the needs of the proposed Project;

The Board found that this is not applicable.

b) Pedestrian access and circulation has been provided for;

The Board found that this is not applicable.

c) New driveways have been designed to maximize sightline distances to the greatest extent possible;

The Board found that the proposed project is an improvement to an existing driveway, and noted that the McMahon Associates memorandum indicates the design meets the minimum sight line requirements for the project.

d) It is impractical to meet these standards and that a waiver of these regulations will not result in or worsen parking and traffic problems on-site or on the surrounding streets, or adversely affect the value of abutting lands and buildings and

The Board found that this is not applicable.

e) The granting of relief is consistent with the intent of this By-Law and will not increase the likelihood of accident or impair access and circulation.

The Board found that this project improves an existing driveway at an existing curb cut and provides for ongoing maintenance.

Upon a motion made by William Ramsey and seconded by Gary Tondorf-Dick, the Board voted 4-0 to APPROVE the Special Permit A3 with Site Plan Review for the Common Driveway at 266-276 Whiting Street as presented at the hearings and as shown on the plans titled “Common Driveway Development Plans for Proposed Penniman Hill Farm & Garden, Inc.”, prepared by Bohler Engineering, dated 12/22/16, revised to 3/28/17, 4 sheets, incorporated herein by reference, based on the findings, and subject to the following conditions:

1. The Common Driveway Agreement shall be recorded at the Registry with the Notice of Decision. Proof of recording shall be provided to the Planning Board prior to construction.
2. Applicant shall provide, in hardcopy and electronic format, a final as-designed plan prior to the start of work, and a final as-built plan upon completion of the driveway and associated drainage structures, etc.
3. The driveway will be designed to the non-residential standard for minimum paved width and minimum easement width. The cape cod berm shall be 18”.
4. The Applicant shall include screening and buffer plantings on the LCB site along the common driveway, to include a mix of shrubs and trees.
5. Erosion control devices must stay in good repair until the site is stable.
6. Prior to the start of construction or site clearing, there shall be a preconstruction meeting attended by the applicant team, the Conservation Administrator, and the Town Planner to review the installation of the erosion control measures.

7. Police details may be required at the discretion of the Chief of Police to assist in managing construction traffic entering or exiting site and when material is being imported/exported from the site during construction of the driveway or drainage improvements.
8. If the LCB Assisted Living Project does not move forward, the Common Driveway shall not be constructed as proposed. In addition, the applicant shall provide the drainage design for peer review prior to construction of the Common Driveway.
9. The Applicant shall complete all work shown on the Plan, including all ways and drainage facilities, within two years of the date of endorsement of the Plan or the approval of the Plan shall be null and void, unless, at the request of the Applicant, the Planning Board extends the time for performance of such work.

William C. Ramsey
Acting Chairman, Hingham Planning Board
EXECUTED this ____ day of April, 2017

In favor: Tondorf-Dick, Corey, Gay-Smith, Ramsey
Opposed: none

Cc: Clerk, ZBA, Fire, Police, Assessor, Conservation, DPW, Building, W. Sullivan, J. Johnson