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Board of Appeals



Applicant: Nabil T. Merhej
102 Derby Street
Hingham, MA 02043

Owner: Sunoco LLC, C/O Ke Andrews & Company
1900 Dalrock Road
Rowlett, TX 75088

Premises: 102 Derby Street, Hingham, MA 02043

Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 45095, Page 335

Plan References: Plan set entitled, "Proposed Modifications, 102 Derby Street, Hingham, MA 02043," prepared by Choubah Engineering Group, P.C., 112 Station Road, N. Dartmouth, MA, dated October 4, 2017 (3 Sheets)


This matter came before the Zoning Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the application of Nabil T. Merhej (the “Applicant”) for a Variance from § IV-A of the Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”) and such other relief as necessary to construct a (15’x 5’) addition to a nonconforming service station in order to convert one bay into an inspection bay 102 Derby Street in the Industrial Park.

A public hearing was duly noticed and held on December 11, 2017 at Hingham Town Hall, 210 Central Street, along with a concurrent hearing on an application for a Finding pursuant to M.G.L. c. 40A, § 6. The Board panel consisted of its regular members Robyn S. Maguire, Chair, and Joseph M. Fisher, and associate member Michael Mercurio. The Applicant and the project engineer, Halim Choubah, P.E., appeared to present the application. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested relief to construct a (15’x 5’) addition to a nonconforming service station in order to convert one bay into an inspection bay, subject to conditions set forth below.

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 subject property consists of approximately 28,863 SF of land. The irregularly shaped lot is technically bound on two sides by the Derby Street state layout, with 383 linear feet of frontage on Derby Street and another 120’ on the taking associated with the signalized intersection at the entrance to the Derby Street Shoppes. An unconstructed portion of Old Derby Street sits to the rear of the property and a short segment of the lot abuts the unsignalized entrance to Derby Street Shoppes near Bertuccis and Whole Foods.

The property is improved by an existing Sunoco gas station, which dates to 1960 and prior to the prohibition on the use. The applicant hopes to modestly expand one existing service bay in order to conduct state vehicle inspections on site. The proposed inspectional services use falls under Section III-A, Use 5.1: Automotive "filing" or service station. This use is currently prohibited in the Industrial Park. As a result, it is considered a preexisting nonconforming, or grandfathered, use. In order to add the inspection bay, the Applicant requires a Finding under M.G.L. c. 40A, s. 6 that the extension of the nonconforming use will not be more detrimental to the neighborhood.

The existing structure is also located entirely within the setbacks presently required by the By-Law. The proposed bay extension requires a dimensional variance because it likewise will not comply with dimensional standards. Since the unconstructed portion of Old Derby Street located to the south of the subject property does not fulfill any of the options listed under the definition of a “street” in Section VI of the By-Law, the Board determined that the required setback would be a 50' rear yard as opposed to the 35' front yard setback requirement. The proposed addition would result in a 22’ rear yard setback.

During the hearing, a South Hingham resident and customer of the business spoke in favor of the application.


Based upon the information submitted and received at the hearing, and the deliberations and discussion during the hearing, the Board has determined that:

1. There are circumstances relating to soil conditions, shape or topography especially affecting the land but not affecting generally the zoning district. The Property is affected by an irregular lot shape. This circumstance, in combination with the existing improvements on the property, does not generally affect the surrounding neighborhood or the overall district.

2. The literal enforcement of the Bylaws would involve substantial hardship financial or otherwise. Literal enforcement would cause substantial detriment since the entire existing building is located within setbacks. Construction within the buildable portion of the property is unfeasible because of the irregular lot shape. A grant of a Variance in this instance will allow for a reasonable extension and alteration of an existing use of the Property that complements other commercial and industrial uses in the surrounding developed area.

3. A variance may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good. The proposed Project will not create any additional noise, traffic, or result in other similar negative impacts. There will be no adverse effects or harm to the public good.

4. A variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purposes of the Bylaw. The proposed construction is modest in size and will not substantially derogate from the intent of the By-Law. The granting of a dimensional variance in this instance is consistent with the purposes of the By-Law.


Upon a motion made by Joseph M. Fisher and seconded by Michael Mercurio, the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested Variance from § IV-A of the By-Law and such other relief as necessary to construct a (15’x 5’) addition to a nonconforming service station in order to convert one bay into an inspection bay 102 Derby Street in the Industrial Park, subject to the following condition:

1. The Applicant shall construct the addition a manner consistent with the approved plans and the representations made during the hearing before the Board.

The zoning relief granted herein 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 or is recorded and noted on the owner’s certificate of title.

For the Zoning Board of Appeals,

Robyn S. Maguire
February 15, 2018