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Board of Appeals



Applicant: Cello Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless
c/o Duval & Klasnick LLC
210 Broadway, Suite 204
Lynnfield, MA 01940

Owner: South Shore Baptist Church
578 Main Street
Hingham, MA 02043

Property: 578 Main Street, Hingham, MA 02043

Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 2326, Page 61

Plan References: Plan set entitled, "Hingham 5 MA, 578 Main Street, Hingham, MA 02043," prepared by Hudson Design Group, LLC, 1600 Osgood Street, No. Andover, MA, dated October 28, 2016, revised through March 7, 2017 (Sheets T-1, C-1, A-1, and A-2) and specifications from York Heating and Cooling for Steller 2000TM Split System Air Conditioners


This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the application of Duval & Klasnick LLC acting on behalf of Cello Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless (the “Applicant”) for a Special Permit A2 under §§ III-F and V-E of the Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”) to allow a Personal Wireless Service Facility consisting of 4 antennas installed behind replacement fiberglass panels in the steeple of the South Shore Baptist Church and associated equipment at 578 Main Street in Residence District A.

A public hearing was duly noticed and held on March 15, 2017 at the Town Hall, 210 Central Street, along with a concurrent hearing on a simultaneously filed variance application for certain relief from § V-E., 4. of the By-Law. The Board panel consisted of its regular members Joseph W. Freeman, Chairman, Robyn S. Maguire, and Joseph M. Fisher. The Applicant was represented during the hearing by Daniel Klasnick of Duval & Klasnick LLC.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Special Permit subject to conditions contained herein. 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.


The Town of Hingham Zoning By-Law provides in § V-E, 4 that wireless communications facilities are allowed in the Residential zoning district upon the issuance of a Special Permit A2 provided that the proposed facilities are fully enclosed within a non-residential structure. The proposed plan locates a concealed wireless facility, consisting of 4 antennas at 62’-4” centerline height with 12 remote radio heads, installed behind replacement fiberglass panels within the existing church steeple. A small GPS antenna will be mounted to the steeple exterior for E911 compliance. Mechanical equipment, namely a rooftop mounted natural gas backup generator and 2 condenser units on a concrete pad adjacent to the building, will also be installed in connection with the wireless facility. Since these related improvements are not fully enclosed within the building, the Applicant requested a variance in addition to the Special Permit A2.

The Board received a Radio Frequency Report and propagation maps in support of the application. The Report suggests that the proposed facility is centrally located in an area of deficient service. Without the facility, Verizon would be unable to improve and expand its existing 4G LTE wireless communication services in this area of Hingham, which includes key roadways such as Main Street (Rte. 228), High Street, and Free Street.

In conjunction with the applications before the Board, the Applicant filed related applications for Site Plan Review with the Planning Board and a Certification of Appropriateness from the Historic Districts Commission (the “HDC”). On February 27, 2017, the Planning Board found that the request constituted a Minor Site Plan and voted to waive its review in connection with the Special Permit A2 application. A Certificate of Appropriateness was issued on the same day by the HDC.


Based upon the information submitted and received at the hearing, and the deliberations and discussions of Board members at the meeting, the Board has determined that:

1. The proposed use will be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the Zoning By-Law, for the following reasons: The proposed wireless communications facility is allowed in Residential Districts under a Special Permit A2, and the use is controlled and regulated so as not to adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of the neighbors or the Town generally.

2. The proposed use complies with the purposes and standards of the relevant specific sections of this By-Law, for the following reasons: The proposed antennas will be fully enclosed within an existing church steeple, with as modified by variance for the small GPS antenna. Associated equipment, including an emergency backup generator and condensers, will be screened from view so as to minimize visual and auditory impacts. In addition, the Planning Board determined that the proposed project constitutes a minor site plan modification and waived the requirement for a public hearing in connection with its review.

3. The specific site is an appropriate location for such use, structure, or condition, compatible with the characteristics of the surrounding area, for the following reasons: The site is an appropriate location for the use as it allows for concealment within an existing structure while providing adequate coverage for the surrounding area.

4. The use as developed and operated will create positive impacts or potential adverse impacts will be mitigated, for the following reasons: The proposed facility will be unmanned once operational. Technicians, who will visit the facility approximately once per month, will utilize existing access and circulation routes serving the property.

5. There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians, for the following reasons: Existing driveways and parking spaces will be utilized by service technicians. No nuisance or hazard will result from the proposed facility.

6. Adequate and appropriate facilities exist or will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use, for the following reasons: The electric, telephone, and as services for the facility will be connected from available services for the existing building.

7. The proposed Project meets accepted design standards and criteria for the functional design of facilities, structures, stormwater management, and site construction, for the following reasons: The Board determined that the proposed facility complies with the relevant design standards for Personal Wireless Service Facilities within Host Structures as specified in Section V-E, 9, and as modified by a related variance for a small GPS antenna mounted on the exterior of the steeple. Specifically, the antennas will be concealed within the church steeple and the associated equipment will be screened from view from the exterior of the structure.


Upon a motion made by Joseph M. Fisher and seconded by Robyn S. Maguire, the Board voted unanimously to approve the requested Special Permit A2 pursuant to §§ III-F and V-E of the By-Law to allow a Personal Wireless Service Facility consisting of 4 antennas installed behind replacement fiberglass panels in the steeple of the South Shore Baptist Church and associated equipment at 578 Main Street in Residence District A, subject to the following conditions:

1. That all work shall be performed in accordance with the approved plans and representations made at the public hearing before the Board and all other requirements specified in § V-E., 10. of the By-Law.

2. Routine testing of the emergency backup power generator will only occur between the hours of 7am and 8pm.

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 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, Chairman
May 22, 2017