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Board of Appeals



Owner/Applicant: Feeley Development Trust
Stephen A. Feeley, Marcia Dyment Feeley, and Helene Feeley, Trustees
c/o Marcia Dyment Feeley
12 Edgar Walker Court
Hingham MA 02043

Agent: Stephen J. McLaughlin, Esq.
Law Office of Stephen J. McLaughlin, P.C.
210 Whiting Street, Suite 7
Hingham, MA 02043

Premise/Property: Downer Avenue & Planters Field Lane
Assessor’s Map 26, Lots 21, 21B & 23

Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 49575, Page 111
and Book 49575, Page 114

Plan Reference: Plan set entitled, "Downer Estates Definitive Subdivision Plan,” prepared by Merrill Engineers and Land Surveyors, 427 Columbia Road, Hanover, MA, dated January 23, 2017 and revised through April 3, 2017 (13 Sheets)


This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the application of Feeley Development Trust, Stephen A. Feeley & Marcia Feeley Dyment, Trustees (the "Applicant"), for a Special Permit A1 under § III-C, 4.e of the Zoning By-Law (the "By-Law") and such other relief as necessary to construct a road to access a 3-lot subdivision to be located at Downer Avenue & Planters Field Lane (Map 26, Lots 21, 21B & 23) in Residence District A and the Floodplain Protection Overlay District.

The Board opened a duly advertised and noticed public hearing on the application on July 24, 2018. The Board panel consisted of its regular members Robyn S. Maguire, Chair, and Joseph M. Fisher, and associate member Mario Romania, Jr. The Applicant and Stephen J. McLaughin, Esq. appeared to present the application to the Board. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Special Permit A1 under § III-C, 4.e of the By-Law with conditions as set forth below.

Throughout its deliberations, the Board has been mindful of the statements of the Applicant, their Agent, and the comments of the general public, all as made or received at the public hearing.


The subject property consists of 368,012 SF of vacant land located off Planters Field Lane and Downer Avenue. The applicant plans to develop the land with a 3-lot subdivision. A private roadway will be constructed from an existing curb cut on Planters Field Lane, through portions of an onsite wetland resource area and floodplain, in order to provide access and utilities to the lots.

The Planning Board previously issued a definitive subdivision approval for the development. The Conservation Commission also already issued an Order of Conditions for the proposed construction. The decisions respectively issued by the Planning Board and Conservation Commission contain various conditions and requirements with regard to both the construction and on-going maintenance of the proposed private road.

Section III-C allows the Board to issue a special permit for “driveways and roadways where alternative means of access are impractical.” The Board is also explicitly authorized to impose any special conditions it may deem necessary to fulfill the purposes of the By-Law. The onsite floodplain consists of moderate risk (Zone X: 0.2% annual chance flood hazard), as opposed to higher risk special flood hazard areas (Zones A, AE, VE). Additionally, a relatively small portion of the floodplain will be impacted by roadway construction. As a result, no special conditions may be necessary.

At the public hearing the Zoning Board of Appeals did not receive any comments, questions, or objections from any of the abutting property owners.


Based on the information submitted and presented during the hearing, and the deliberations and discussions of the Board during the hearing, the Board made the following findings in accordance with the Special Permit Approval Criteria under Section I-F, 2:

1. Use of the property is in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the Zoning By-Law. The proposed roadway will provide access and utilities to an approved residential subdivision consisting of three lots. The construction is in harmony with the purposes and intent of the By-Law because it supports a residential use in a residential district.

2. The proposed use complies with the purposes and standards of the relevant sections of the By-Law. The proposed residential subdivision is a conforming and permissible use of the property, which is located in Residence District A. The Floodplain Protection Overlay District specifically recognizes the appropriateness of a special permit in instances where there is no alternative means of access to land otherwise suitable for residential development.

3. The specific site is an appropriate location for the proposed use and is compatible with the characteristics of the surrounding area. The proposed use is compatible with the characteristics of the surrounding area, which consists primarily of single-family residential development.

4. The use as developed and operated will create positive impacts or the potential adverse impacts will be mitigated. There will be no adverse impacts associated with construction of the roadway and installation of utilities to serve the residential subdivision.

5. There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians. The Planning Board reviewed the design and placement of the proposed access road for sightlines so as to ensure vehicular safety. Additionally, minimal traffic will be generated by the development. In terms of pedestrian safety, the Planning Board required installation of ADA-compliant ramps at the proposed intersection of the subdivision road with Planters Field Lane. No nuisance or hazard resulting from the project.

6. Adequate and appropriate facilities exist or will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use. Utilities for the subdivision will be located within the proposed right of way. These include gas, electric, water and sewer services. Adequate facilities will be provided for the proper operation of the use.

7. The proposal meets accepted design standards and criteria for the functional design of facilities, structures, stormwater management, and site construction. The proposal meets accepted design standards for stormwater. Drainage structures capture, treat, and infiltrate stormwater.


Upon a motion made by Joseph M. Fisher and seconded by Mario Romania, Jr., the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested Special Permit A1 under § III-C, 4.e. of the By-Law to construct a road to access a 3-lot subdivision to be located at Downer Avenue & Planters Field Lane (Map 26, Lots 21, 21B & 23) in Residence District A and the Floodplain Protection Overlay District, subject to the following conditions:

1. The work shall be completed in accordance with the approved plans and representations made during the public hearing.

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, Chair
August 15, 2018