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NOTICE OF DECISION
Special Permit A3 Parking Determination
Certified #7013 3020 0002 2476 7084
IN THE MATTER OF:
Applicant: Ninety-Nine Restaurants
Attn: Mark Feuti
14 Gill Street
Woburn, MA 01801
Premises: 428 Lincoln Street
Hingham, MA 02043
Date: July 13, 2017
“NINETY NINE RESTAURANTS DEFINITIVE SITE PLAN, 428 Lincoln Street, Assessors Map 46 Lot 4, Hingham, Massachusetts”, prepared by Merrill Engineers and Land Surveyors, Inc., prepared for Ninety Nine Restaurants, 14A Gill Street, Woburn, MA 01801, dated June 13, 2017, Sheets C1.1, C2.1, L1.1, and C5.1-5.5 revised to July 6, 2017, and Sheets C3.1 & C4.1 revised to July 10, 2017, and Sheets A1.5, A3.1, A3.2 prepared by Aharonian & Associates Architects, prepared for “Ninety Nine Proposed Restaurant, Lincoln & Beal Streets Hingham, MA 02043 Plymouth County”, dated June 14, 2017.
Summary of Proceedings:
This matter came before the Planning Board on the application of the Ninety-Nine Restaurants for a Special Permit A3 Parking Determination and/or Waivers under § V-A, along with Site Plan Review in Association with the Special Permit A2 and A3 under § I-G and § I-I, and such other relief as necessary to replace an existing 8,840 square foot restaurant with a new 5,875 square foot restaurant and complete related parking and site improvements at 428 LINCOLN STREET in the Industrial District.
The application was submitted on June 15, 2017, and the Planning Board heard the application jointly with the Zoning Board of Appeals at a duly noticed public hearing on July 11, 2017 in the Hingham Town Hall at 210 Central Street. Members of the Planning Board present were Jennifer Gay Smith, Sarah Corey and Gordon Carr. Associate member Ted Matthews was seated for this application to complete the panel. Patrick Brennan, Amory Engineering, was present at the July 11, 2017 hearing as the peer review civil engineer for the Board. The Applicant team included Dana Altobello, Merrill Engineers, Mark Feuti, Jim Kiley and Tom Cattaneo, Ninety Nine Restaurants.
The project site is located at 428 Lincoln Street and is developed with a restaurant and parking at this time. The building is pre-existing and non-conforming, with regard to setbacks, lot area and use. It is a flat site in general, with no storm water treatment at this time. The storm water drains into one catch basin on site, or flows overland into the adjacent intersection where there is a catch basin. The existing building is 8,840 square feet in size, and the height is 27’. The existing site has 73 parking spaces, varying in length from 14’ to 18’. The drive aisles vary from 18’to 22’ presently.
The new building is proposed to be 5,875 square feet in size and the majority of the building will be 19’ in height with the vestibule at 26’ in height. The new building will meet all the setbacks and maintain the 180 seats that presently exist. The redevelopment process will allow the site to come into full compliance with the storm water standards, reduce the impervious cover by ~6,410 square feet, add infiltration of groundwater to the site, improve the landscaping and implement access and circulation improvements. The aisle widths are proposed to be 24’, and the parking spaces are all proposed to be 18’ in length, with the majority not having any overhang. The new site design will provide better maneuvering on site for customers and emergency vehicles. The structure will be more centered on the site and will conform to the Fire Safety Code. The parking facing Lincoln Street will be perpendicular instead of angled, which is a more efficient parking layout and reduces the angle that the headlights might be casting light into Lincoln Street. A wooden guardrail is also proposed between parking on Lincoln Street and Beal Street and the public ways to help screen headlight glare, as well as provide a safety feature. The guardrail has a beam that extends from 18” above grade to 27” above grade. The Board asked the applicant if they would investigate the guardrail design to determine if it was at the appropriate height to shield the majority of the headlights, or if it would be more effective as a screen if it were adjusted, or had another beam added to it. The Board noted that they did not want to compromise the safety features of the guardrail and understood that there may not be a better option. The Applicant agreed to do additional research and report back with their findings.
The Board discussed the parking at length and noted that 74 spaces are being proposed where 60 are required. The applicant explained that 73 spaces exist on site now, which is significantly less than the restaurant would typically have if the parcel was not constrained the way this site is by the unique shape. The Applicant explained that with the redevelopment of the site, they are able to increase the aisle width from the existing 18-22’ width to a uniform 24’ width in keeping with the requirements of the By-law. In addition, they are able to increase the length of the parking spaces from the current 14-18’ to a uniform 18’ in length. They do need a parking waiver to allow for 18’ spaces with no overhang, as 57 of the spaces will not have an overhang, and the By-law requires spaces to be 18’ in length with overhang, or 20’ in length with no overhang. They need a parking determination regarding the provision of parking in excess of the requirement in the By-law. The Board discussed with the applicant their experience on the existing site and heard that the existing 73 spaces are very well utilized. The new spaces will be safer and more conforming to the By-law than the existing spaces. The Board noted that curb stops were needed in the parking spaces facing Beal Street to prevent vehicles from overhanging the property line. The Board discussed that the redevelopment was an overall improvement to the site in many ways regarding compliance with the regulations (By-laws, Fire Code, Storm water Management Standards), which is why they are more supportive of the waivers that are being requested with regard to parking design standards and dimensional requirements. The Applicant noted they would have them installed as needed. The Board reviewed the landscaping proposed and also discussed the parking lot design guidelines, which require parking lots to have year round landscape treatment to prevent headlight glare from affecting the public way. This project does not fully comply with the design guidelines, so a partial waiver is needed. The applicant did install more landscaping during the review process, but along Beal Street the landscaping would need to be planted in the public way, so the applicant will need to propose appropriate shrubs during the street opening permit process. The Applicant did note that they would maintain the shrubs if they were allowed to plant them. Along Lincoln Street, the Applicant said there was insufficient space to plant landscaping, as the area ranged from 2’ to less than 1’. If the applicant were to increase the landscape strip, the impact would be that the parking spaces or aisle widths would be decreased, which would reduce the safety and circulation improvements and possibly trigger another waiver. The Board asked the Applicant if they would investigate again any opportunity to install planting of some sort along part of the Lincoln Street frontage between the parking and the property line. The Applicant agreed to review the matter again, but noted that, due to the lack of sizeable planting area, road salt, etc., planting would be exposed, which makes it a difficult location to plant something that would survive and look good.
The Applicant said there would be no added outdoor lighting to exceed what exists presently, and the new entrance canopy will have recessed LED lighting that will be directed downward. The Board asked if they were amenable to a requirement that the lighting be dark sky compliant, and the applicant said that is their standard. The dumpsters will be behind a wall, and the rooftop mechanicals will be shielded by the fence along the rooftop. The Board expressed concerns about snow accumulation further reducing the length of the parking stalls. The Applicant stated there is snow storage on site, and they also truck off site if they cannot store it in the bio retention areas. The Applicant agreed to a condition requiring the excess snow removal.
Special Permit A3 Review Criteria:
a) The parking is sufficient in quantity to meet the needs of the proposed project;
• Yes. 74 spaces (including 3 handicapped and 3 To-Go spaces) are proposed where 73 exist currently, and 60 are required by the regulations. While there is more parking than required, it is, with the exception of one space, an existing condition. In addition, the slight surplus of parking will provide employee parking spaces for those employees that drive to work. For these reasons, the provision of more parking than required is reasonable and the Board supports the design.
b) Pedestrian access and circulation has been provided for;
• Yes. One curb cut on Beal Street is being eliminated, which will help to avoid driver confusion and better guide vehicles accessing or leaving the site at this busy intersection, and be one less curb cut for pedestrians to cross.
• A new sidewalk is proposed internal to the plaza to provide pedestrian connection from Beal Street to 3A.
• The Applicant will work with the Town and State to complete sidewalk connections as needed in the town and state layouts.
• The Police Chief supports design in his July 7, 2017 memo
c) New driveways have been designed to maximize sightline distances to the greatest extent possible;
• One curb cut on Beal Street is being eliminated, which will help to avoid driver confusion and better guide vehicles accessing or leaving the site at this busy intersection.
• July 7, 2017 memo from Chief of Police supports the improved traffic flow around the building and onto/off of the site.
• The driveway internal to the plaza has been moved away from Route 3A to reduce conflicts with traffic queue, and, is aligned with a traffic aisle in the Stop & Shop Plaza.
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;
• Yes. Existing parking spaces vary between 14’-18’ in length, and some of the overhangs extend over property lines. The proposed site design, with the benefit of waivers, is an improved condition.
• Snow is removed from site presently when the snow storage areas are full. Applicant shall continue the practice of removing snow from the site as needed to ensure the design length of the parking spaces is not further reduced.
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.
• Yes. Granting the waivers results in parking spaces with a consistent length of 18’, 24’ aisle widths improving safety, improves circulation, better traffic flow, fewer curb cuts, and updated lighting.
The Board considered the request for a partial waiver of Section V-A.5.m to allow less than the required year round landscape screen to block headlight glare from the public ways. The Board found that there is no screening on site now as the existing condition, so, while the Board is considering a partial waiver now the redevelopment of the site will result in a net improvement over existing conditions. Further, the parking is going to be perpendicular to Route 3A and not angled which will reduce the potential area of the roadway that might be impacted from headlights as they will not be directed into oncoming traffic. The Applicant has committed to working with the DPW to add shrubs for screening along Beal Street as part of the street opening permit. The proposed guardrail is 27” in height and will screen most headlights. The peer review engineer concurs with that assessment. The Applicant has also agreed to try and find plants that would survive and be maintained along Route 3A. Finally, there are several areas where the Applicant is providing landscaping as screening. The Board then moved seconded and so voted to approve a partial waiver of Section V-A.5.m with regard to the year round landscape screening requirement to prevent headlight glare from shining into adjacent ways.
The Board then considered the request for a partial waiver of Section V-A.3 to allow parking spaces 18’ in length with no overhang where 20’ is required. The Board noted that this refers to the 26 spaces along Lincoln Street, 12 along Beal Street, 6 adjacent to the internal drive in the plaza, and 13 spaces on the west side of the building (6 spaces and 7 spaces). There will be a guardrail along Lincoln Street and Beal Street, and, the Applicant has agreed to install curb stops along Beal Street. There are curb stops in the spaces adjacent to the internal drive and on the west side of the building already. The Board found that while they might not support the waivers on a brand new site, that this is a redevelopment and overall an improvement to the existing conditions and compliance overall, which is why they are supportive of the request for dimensional relief. The Board moved, seconded and so voted to allow all spaces to be 18’ in length, some with no overhang, where 20’ is required.
Decision and Vote:
It was Moved, Seconded and SO VOTED to APPROVE the Special Permit A3 parking determination to allow 74 spaces where 60 are required, as presented at the hearing and shown on the plans titled as shown on plans titled “NINETY NINE RESTAURANTS DEFINITIVE SITE PLAN, 428 Lincoln Street, Assessors Map 46 Lot 4, Hingham, Massachusetts”, prepared by Merrill Engineers and Land Surveyors, Inc., prepared for Ninety Nine Restaurants, 14A Gill Street, Woburn, MA 01801, dated June 13, 2017, Sheets C1.1, C2.1, L1.1, and C5.1-5.5 revised to July 6, 2017, and Sheets C3.1 & C4.1 revised to July 10, 2017, and Sheets A1.5, A3.1, A3.2 prepared by Aharonian & Associates Architects, prepared for “Ninety Nine Proposed Restaurant, Lincoln & Beal Streets Hingham, MA 02043 Plymouth County”, dated June 14, 2017, with the waivers, based on the findings and subject to the following conditions:
1. The Applicant will work with the Town and State to complete sidewalk connections as needed in the town and state layouts.
2. The Applicant shall continue to remove snow accumulations from the site as needed to retain the full design length of the parking spaces.
3. The Applicant shall investigate guardrail design options to improve screening of headlight glare while retaining safety features. Applicant shall provide a report for review by the Town Planner and the Peer Review Engineer.
This Decision shall not become effective until (i) the Town Clerk has certified on a copy of this decision that twenty (20) days have elapsed after the decision has been filed in the office of the Town Clerk and no appeal has been filed or that if such an appeal has been filed, that it has been dismissed or denied, and that (ii): a copy thereof has been duly recorded in the Plymouth County Registry of Deeds and indexed in the grantor index under the name of the owner of record.
Jennifer M. Gay Smith
Chairman, Hingham Planning Board
In Favor: Gay Smith, Corey, Carr, Matthews
Cc: Town Clerk; Patrick Brennan, Amory Engineers; Building Department; Assessor; ZBA; BOH; R. Fernandes; T. Molinari; S. Dempsey; S. Girardi, HMLP; Police Chief; Fire Chief; Fire Prevention; DPW, Dana Altobello, Merrill Engineers; S. Olson, Aquarion.
EXECUTED this _____ day of July, 2017
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Plymouth, ss July ____, 2017
Then personally appeared Jennifer M. Gay Smith, 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