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Board of Appeals



Owner/Applicant: Hewitts Landing Condominium Trust
Jane Freeman, Trustee
106 USS Buckley Place
Hingham, MA 02043

Property: Hewitts Landing Condominiums (Map 36 Lot 108)

Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 38667, Page 257

Plan References: Signage location plan entitled, "Hewitts Landing, A Waterfront Community,” unstamped and undated


This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the application of Hewitts Landing Condominium Trust, Jane Freeman, Trustee (the “Applicant”), to modify the Hingham Shipyard Mixed-Use Special Permit, originally issued May 12, 2003, as amended, under § IV-G of the Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”) and such other relief as necessary to revise the approved residential development signage program within the Hewitts Landing Condominium (Map 36 Lot 108) in the Industrial District.

The Board opened the hearing on the application at a duly advertised and noticed public hearing on March 15, 2017, along with a concurrent hearing on a simultaneously filed variance application from § IV-G.11.b.iii.c of the By-Law to locate free standing signs within the required 20’ setback from a roadway. The Board panel consisted of its regular members Robyn S. Maguire, Acting Chairman, and Joseph M. Fisher and associate member Jim Blakey. The Applicant was represented by Jane Freeman, Liz D’Allessandro, and Dan Dolan, Trustees of the Hewitts Landing Condominium.

In conjunction with the Special Permit Modification, the Applicant also filed an application for a waiver of Site Plan Review under § I-G and § I-I of the By-Law with the Planning Board. The Planning Board reviewed the matter on March 6, 2017, finding that the project constitutes a Minor Site Plan and voting to waive the requirements for a public hearing and Site Plan Review.

At the conclusion of the proceedings, the Board voted unanimously to approve the Special Permit Modification with 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 meeting.


The application seeks approval to maintain a number of existing ground signs installed by the condominium developer, Lennar Holdings. Additionally, the Applicant would like to update the current message displayed on many of these signs from “Private Property, No Tresspassing, Violators will be Prosecuted” to “Hewitts Landing, Private Townhomes Community, Please keep pets off grass and flowerbeds.” These special permit modification and variance applications were filed in an effort to remedy existing zoning violations associated with the current signage on site.

Section IV-G of the By-Law allows residential buildings within mixed use developments to install free standing signs "located in an area clearly associated with the residential structure..." The By-Law limits the size to a maximum of 30 SF and height of 6'. Free standing signs cannot be located within 20' of a roadway. The By-Law also requires that the proposed location and size of all signs be indicated on the final plans submitted to the Board. The Board previously approved a signage plan for Hewitts Landing that included directional and other traffic related signage, but not the above-referenced ground signs. As such, the Applicant requested a Special Permit Modification to allow nine existing sign posts to remain on the property.

In terms of the proposed rewording, staff had informed the Applicant that the current “Private Property, No Tresspassing, Violators will be Prosecuted” signs located adjacent to publicly accessible areas within the Shipyard violate certain conditions contained in the original Special Permit. These areas include the waterfront walkway, Bouve parking area, Bradley Woods pathway, and a number of public passive open space areas. Relevant permit conditions follow:

Condition 7 of the 2003 Sea Chain Special Permit reads: "The Applicant shall provide to the Town a public access easement for the waterfront walkway and parking and access to the Bouve property."

Condition 4 of the 2007 Samuels Site Plan Review Modification reads: "Public access shall be maintained to the public open space as shown on the Approved Project Plans in accordance with Section IV-G.10.c of the Zoning by-Law." The approved plan, referenced in the decision and dated May 9, 2007, designates many of the landscaped areas within Hewitts Landing Condominium (1.37 acres) as "Public Passive" open space.

Condition 5 of the 2007 Samuels Site Plan Review Modification reads in part: "Access from Bradley Woods shall be provided by a 5' walkway from the Town park to HMS Staynor Drive as shown on the Approved Project Plans and public access to and from such walkway over and across the Shipyard Premises shall be permitted subject to reasonable regulations of the applicable Land Owners. The walkway shall be maintained by the Shipyard Owners in perpetuity, including removal of snow and ice. Such maintenance obligation shall not extend beyond the Shipyard Premises."

Board members agreed that the proposed signage rewording, which will include a message intended to limit pets from grass and flower beds, is a reasonable regulation as contemplated in Condition 5 of the above referenced 2007 Site Plan Review Decision.


Based on the information submitted with the application and presented during the hearing, the Board finds that the proposed modification to the previously approved signage plans for the development do not materially affect the specific findings made by the Board in its Mixed Use Special Permit for the Hingham Shipyard Redevelopment, originally issued on May 12, 2003, as amended. The Board also finds that the reworded signage is consistent with conditions imposed in its prior Decisions.

Upon a motion made by Jim Blakey and seconded by Joseph M. Fisher, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Modification to the Hingham Shipyard Mixed-Use Special Permit to revise the approved residential development signage program within the Hewitts Landing Condominium and accept the above referenced signage location plan as a supplement to the previously approved signage plans for the development.

This Decision is subject to the following conditions:

1. The Applicant shall maintain and reface the affected sign posts in a manner consistent with the approved plans and the representations made at the hearings before the Board.

2. The existing “Private Property, No Tresspassing, Violators will be Prosecuted” signs shall be removed no later than June 30, 2017. Thereafter the Applicant shall install the replacement signage within one year of this Decision.

3. No lighting shall be installed in connection with the signs.

4. Signage shall be substantially similar in design to the existing. The Applicant shall file the final plans for refaced signage with the Zoning Administrator prior to application for a signage permit from the Building Department.

For the Board of Appeals,

Robyn S. Maguire
June 7, 2017