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Board of Appeals



Applicant/Owner: 37 Derby Street LLC
C/O Robert L. Shepard
37 Derby Street, Suite B-4
Hingham, MA 02043

Property: 37 Derby Street, Hingham, MA 02043

Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 46452, Page 28 and Certificate of Title No. 122908 issued by the Plymouth County Registry District of the Land Court

Plan References: Drawing entitled, “Proposed Dimensional Carved Sign, Double Faced,” prepared by Hassan Sign Company, 799 Route 3A, Cohasset, MA, dated December 1, 2017 and an excerpt from a site plan depicting sign location, unsigned and undated, received by the Board on December 20, 2017


This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the application of Robert L. Shepard, 37 Derby Street, LLC (the “Applicant”), for a Special Permit A1 under § V-B of the Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”) and such other relief as necessary to replace an existing 24 SF ground sign with a new 21 SF ground sign at 37 Derby Street in Business District B.

The Board opened the hearing on the application at a duly advertised and noticed public hearing held on February 13, 2018. The Board panel consisted of its regular members Robyn S. Maguire, Chair, and Joseph M. Fisher, and associate member Joseph W. Freeman. The Applicant appeared to present the application to the Board. At the conclusion of the proceedings, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Special Permit A1 and such other relief as necessary to replace an existing 24 SF ground sign with a new 21 SF ground sign at 37 Derby Street, 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 is located on the north side of Derby Street and opposite Recreation Park Drive in Business District B. The lot supports an existing, two-story office building (ca. 1982). A building permit was issued in 2009, authorizing installation of a 24 SF ground sign on the property. Since a special permit was then and is now required for ground signs in excess of 15 SF in Business B, the Applicant seeks a special permit to replace the existing 24 SF sign with a 21 SF sign.

During the hearing, the Applicant indicated that the proposed sign will not be illuminated. The proposed materials are not reflective in nature, so the sign will not create any hazard for motorists on the adjacent roadway. The Board additionally confirmed that the existing location of the sign complies with front setback requirements and height limitations specified under Section V-B of the By-Law.


Based upon the information submitted and received, and the deliberations and discussions of Board members during the hearing, the Board made the following findings in accordance with § I-I, 2.b:

1. The proposed use will be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the By-Law. The proposed signage effectively promotes allowed uses on the site.

2. The proposed use complies with the purposes and standards of the relevant specific sections of the By-Law. The proposed signage complies with the parameters specified in Section V-B. Namely, the proposed signage meets all setback, area, and height limitations and has no illumination.

3. The specific site is an appropriate location for such use, structure, or condition, compatible with the characteristics of the surrounding area. The proposed signage promotes permitted businesses on the property. The proposed sign will improve the appearance of the existing in a manner consistent with others in the area.

4. The use as developed and operated will create positive impacts or potential adverse impacts will be mitigated. No adverse impacts will be created by installation of the proposed signage.

5. There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians. The signage is designed to promote and allow the safe and efficient identification of the property by customers travelling in motor vehicles at higher traffic speeds. The sign will not consist of reflective or other materials that would create a hazard for motorists.

6. Adequate and appropriate facilities exist or will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use. The proposed signs will be adequately supported and/or affixed.

7. The proposal meets accepted design standards and criteria for the functional design of facilities, structures, stormwater management, and site construction. Not applicable.


Upon a motion made by Joseph M. Fisher and seconded by Joseph W. Freeman, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Special Permit A1 under § V-B of the By-Law and such other relief as necessary to install a 21 SF ground sign at 37 Derby Street in Business District B, subject to the following conditions:

1. The Applicant shall complete the Project in a manner consistent with the approved plans and the representations made at the hearings before the Board.

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 County 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,

Robyn S. Maguire
March 1, 2018