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Site Plan Review for Hingham Center Playground Improvements

Applicant:       Town of Hingham

210 Central Street

Project Site:    Hingham Center Playground

                        0 Spring Street, a.k.a. M/B/L: 81-0-128


The neighbors of the Hingham Center Playground brought forward an application to improve the Hingham Center Playground in partnership with the town.  The application before the Planning Board is for Site Plan Review under Section IV-B.6.a for the improvement of the existing Playground with the installation of new equipment, on land zoned Official and Open Space.  There was also a request for partial waiver of the submittal requirements asking the Board to not require additional submittals.  The Planning Board conducted Site Plan Review at their meeting of June 4, 2018.  In attendance were regular members Gordon Carr, Judith Sneath, Gary Tondorf-Dick, William Ramsey and Jennifer Gay Smith.    

Mark Cullings and Michael Montero were present representing the interested neighborhood stakeholders who initiated this project.  This is an existing parklet used predominantly for softball.  There is currently dilapidated playground equipment at the back of left field.  The proposal is to remove the existing equipment and install new playground equipment.  The playground will shift to the left slightly to minimize conflicts with softball.  The existing bench will be moved to a new location in the parklet.  The neighborhood has raised the funding and will be working with the town on the implementation of the plan.  The land is under the care and control of the Board of Selectmen so their approval is required prior to start of work.  The Board asked some questions regarding the trees and existing conditions.  The planner explained that the tree warden had assessed the condition of the trees and determined that no trees should be removed at this time. 

The installation will not happen until after the Board of Selectmen act on the project and the equipment is purchased.  The Board was supportive of the project and thanked the neighborhood representatives for bringing it forward.  The Board was able to fully review the project with the information and narrative provided and began deliberation and went through the site plan review criteria, as follows.        


a.      protection of abutting properties against detrimental uses by provision for surface water drainage, fire hydrant locations, sound and site buffers, and preservation of views, light and air, and protection of abutting properties from negative impacts from artificial outdoor site lighting.

The Board found that the project is minor and the drainage patterns will not change.  No lighting is proposed.

b.      convenience and safety of vehicular and pedestrian movement within the site and on adjacent streets; the location of driveway openings in relation to traffic or to adjacent streets, taking account of grades, sight distances and distances between such driveway entrances, exits and the nearest existing street or highway intersections; sufficiency of access for service, utility and emergency vehicles;

The Board found that this is a neighborhood parklet accessed by pedestrians predominantly.  Emergency vehicles would access from the roadway. 

c.       adequacy of the arrangement of parking, loading spaces and traffic patterns in relation to the proposed uses of the premises; compliance with the off-street parking requirements of this By-Law;

The Board found that the use, a neighborhood parklet, is not changing.  The rusty equipment is being removed and new equipment installed.  There is no formal parking now. 

d.      adequacy of open space and setbacks, including adequacy of landscaping of such areas;

The Board found that no change to setbacks or landscaping are proposed.

e.       adequacy of the methods of disposal of refuse and other wastes resulting from the uses permitted on the site

The Board found that there were no changes as a result of this project.

f.        prevention or mitigation of adverse impacts on the Town’s resources, including, without limitation, water supply, wastewater facilities, energy and public works and public safety resources;

The Board found this was not applicable.

g.      assurance of positive storm water drainage and snow-melt run-off from buildings, driveways and from all parking and loading areas on the site, and prevention of erosion, sedimentation and storm water pollution and management problems through site design and erosion controls in accordance with the most current versions of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Storm Water Management Policy and Standards, and Massachusetts Erosion and Sediment Control Guidelines.

The Board found that there would be no impact.  The site is well drained now and no changes to drainage patterns are anticipated with the improvements as proposed. 

h.      protection of natural and historic features including minimizing: the volume of cut and fill, the number of removed trees of 6 inches caliper or larger, the removal of stone walls, and the obstruction of scenic views from publicly accessible locations;

The Board found that the tree warden has inspected the trees and does not support removal at this time.

i.        minimizing unreasonable departure from the character and scale of buildings in the vicinity or as previously existing on or approved for the site.

The Board found that there is playground equipment existing on site, it is being removed due to poor condition and new equipment is being installed. 


The Board then Moved, Seconded and So Voted to APPROVE Site Plan Review for The Hingham Center Playground, as represented at the hearings and as shown on the material submitted, pursuant to the findings and conditions discussed herein: 

  1. The Department of Public Works (DPW) shall coordinate with the Building Commissioner to determine handicapped parking space requirements and the siting and design of same if required.   
  2. The DPW shall monitor the condition of the adjacent trees through the tree warden.
  3. No trees are authorized for removal at this time.
  4. Board of Selectmen approval is required prior to start of work. 



Gordon M. Carr, Chairman

Hingham Planning Board

Cc:  Town Clerk; Police Chief; Building Commissioner; R. Sylvester; BOS; M. Cullings; M. Montero


EXECUTED this ____ day of June, 2018


Plymouth, ss                                                                                  June _____, 2018

Then personally appeared Gordon M. Carr, Chairman of the Hingham Planning Board, and acknowledged the foregoing to be the free act and deed of said Board.


Mary F. Savage-Dunham, Notary Public                      My Commission Expires: October 29, 2021