View Other Items in this Archive |
View All Archives | Printable Version
TOWN OF HINGHAM
Board of Appeals
NOTICE OF DECISION
IN THE MATTER OF:
Applicant: John Paul Vermeulen
15 Howard Road
Hingham, MA 02043
Owner: Vermeulen Family Trust
John Paul Vermeulen and Susan Perrin Wood, Trustees
15 Howard Road
Hingham, MA 02043
Agent: SITEC Environmental, Inc.
c/o Rod Gaskell
35 Lafayette Avenue
Hingham, MA 02043
Premises/Property: 15 Howard Road, Hingham, MA 02043
Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 36640, Page 234
Plan Reference: Plan entitled, "Pile-Supported Pier, Gangway & Float,” prepared by SITEC Environmental, 769 Plain Street, Marshfield, MA, dated September 21, 2017 and revised October 19, 2017 (Drawings EC-1, SP-1, and DET-1)
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS
This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the application of John P. Vermeulen (the "Applicant") for a Special Permit A1 under § III-C, 4.a. of the Zoning By-Law (the "By-Law") and such other relief as necessary to install a 150’ pile supported dock/float at 15 Howard Road in Residence District A and the Floodplain Protection Overlay District.
The Board opened a duly advertised and noticed public hearing on the application on December 19, 2017. The Board panel consisted of its regular member Joseph M. Fisher, Acting Chairman, and associate members Joseph W. Freeman and Michael Mercurio. The Applicant was represented during the hearing by Rod Gaskell, AICP, PWS, RS, from SITEC Environmental. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Special Permit A1 under § III-C, 4.a. of the By-Law with conditions as 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 in the Crow Point neighborhood toward the end of both Bayview Avenue and Howard Street. The lot also maintains approximately 280 linear feet of direct water front along the Hingham coastal zone. A stairway and deck currently provides access to the waterfront for the existing single-family dwelling.
The proposed plan would improve this existing access through installation of a 150’ pile-supported dock and float system, thereby creating recreational boating opportunities for the homeowner. The dock system will extend outward from an existing boulder seawall in a location that is minimally 90’ from the closest property line.
During the hearing, the Applicant’s Agent described the particular design features that would mitigate any potential negative impacts associated with the proposed structure. First, he noted that the design will allow coastal storm flows to pass unimpeded both under and over the structure. The float and gangway will also be seasonally stored offsite to minimize potential winter storm-related impacts. No arsenic-based treatments or creosote preservatives will be used in the proposed materials, so other potential environmental impacts will likewise be minimized. Finally, proposed lighting, which includes 25-watt incandescent bulbs located a minimum of 12’ apart and 2’ above the dock walking surface, will be shaded so as to avoid adverse visual impacts to neighboring properties.
This proposed use is explicitly authorized in residential districts under § III-C, 4.a. of the By-Law upon the issuance of a special permit. Neighbors on either side of the property maintain similar dock systems.
The proposed project also triggered a Notice of Intent filing with the Hingham Conservation Commission reviewed the project and issued its Order of Conditions on November 2, 2017.
Based on the information submitted and presented during the hearing, the Board made the following findings:
a. The proposed use of the site is in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the Zoning By-Law, for the following reasons:
The proposed use complies with the purposes and standards of the Zoning By-Law. Outdoor recreation, including boating, is a permitted use in the Floodplain Protection Overlay District. Boat landings in single residence districts are permitted by Special Permit pursuant to Section III-C, 4.a.
b. The proposed use complies with the purposes and standards of the relevant specific sections of this By-Law, for the following reasons:
The use of the site is in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the Zoning By-Law. The project will not result in any flood hazard as it was designed to allow coastal storm flows to pass unimpeded under and over the structure. The float and gangway will additionally be removed during peak storm season. As a result, the project will fulfill general purposes of the By-Law to secure safety from flood and other dangers.
c. 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 such use and is compatible with the characteristics of the surrounding area. The property has ocean frontage, making it an appropriate location for recreational boating. The proposed dock and float system is similar in design and size to other pier projects in the surrounding neighborhood.
d. The use as developed and operated will create positive impacts or potential adverse impacts will be mitigated, for the following reasons:
The project will promote outdoor recreation in a manner consistent with the purposes of the By-Law. Potential adverse impacts related to storm damage will be mitigated through compliance with conditions of the Conservation Commission’s Order of Conditions, dated November 2, 2017, to remove the gangway and floats during the winter.
e. There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians, for the following reasons:
Since the proposed structure is a coastal dock and float system, there will be no impact on landside vehicles. There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians. The project will also not result in any impediment to navigation of watercraft in this part of the harbor. The walkway at the top of the seawall will remain open to allow pedestrians to continue to pass.
f. Adequate and appropriate facilities exist or will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use, for the following reasons:
The proposed system includes minimal, downward-directed lighting to illuminate the dock walking surface for users.
g. 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 project, which calls for steel stringers and posts, meets all applicable accepted design standards and criteria for functional design of docks and floats within a coastal flood zone.
RULINGS AND DECISION
Upon a motion made by Joseph W. Freeman and seconded by Michael Mercurio, the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested Special Permit A1 under § III-C, 4.a. of the By-Law to install a 150’ pile supported dock/float at 15 Howard Road in Residence District A and the Floodplain Protection Overlay District, subject to the following conditions:
1. The project shall be completed in a manner consistent with the referenced plans and representations made by the Applicant.
2. Prior to application for a building permit, the Applicant shall submit plans that includes the lighting locations and specifications that reflects the conditions already described in the application.
3. The float and anchors shall bear the identification of the owner or address of the property, such that if they break loose or float away the owner can be identified.
4. No ornamentation (flags, lights, windsocks, etc.) shall be erected or placed on the pier, dock, ramp, or float, other than the downward directed lighting proposed on the dock as described in the application.
5. The Applicant shall file an as-built plan with the Zoning Administrator following project completion.
6. Floats and gangway shall be removed and stored off site during the winter season.
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,
Joseph W. Freeman
March 19, 2018