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Board of Appeals



Applicant: Robert P. Bingle Agent: Francis P. Wilkins, Jr.
PO Box A 316 Plain Street
Accord, MA 02018 Marshfield, MA 02050

Owner: Grace Realty Trust
c/o Robert Bingle
PO Box A
Accord, MA 02018

Premises: 28 Whiting Street, Hingham, MA 02043

Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 3541, Page 778

Plan References: Plan entitled “Plot Plan of Land in Hingham, MA for Robert Bingle,” prepared by Lamont R. Healy, dated July 22, 1994 (1 Sheet) and sign drawing and specifications prepared by Wilkins Signs, LLC, dated July 17, 2018 (1 Drawing)


This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the application of Francis P. Wilkins Jr. for Robert P. Bingle, Grace Realty Trust, (the “Applicant”) for a Special Permit A1 under § V-B of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to install a 24 SF ground sign at 28 Whiting Street in Business District B.

A public hearing was duly noticed and held on October 16, 2018 in Hingham Town Hall. The Board simultaneously opened a concurrent hearing on a related application from the Applicant for a Variance from § V-B to locate the proposed sign 5’ from the front property line where a 10’ setback is required. The Board panel consisted of its regular members Robyn S. Maguire, Chairman, and Joseph M. Fisher, and associate member Mario Romania, Jr. The Applicant’s Agent appeared to present the application. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested permit, 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 consists of 28,053 Sf of land located on the southerly side of Whiting Street/Route 53 and improved by a multitenant shopping center. A large directory sign previously advertised the onsite businesses; however, it lost its preexisting, nonconforming status after it was removed from the property for more than 6 months. The Applicant now seeks relief to install a new ground sign in the same approximate location as the prior, by reusing the existing base and poles that are 5’ from the front property line where 10’ is required. The sign itself would comply with the maximum dimensions allowed by special permit. The overall height, including the existing base, is 11’ where 12’ is permitted. The proposed plan calls for a 24 SF sign face, which is the maximum allowed by special permit.

During the hearing, the Applicant confirmed for the Board that the proposed signage would be externally illuminated.


Based on the information submitted and presented during the hearing, and the deliberations and discussions of the Board during the meeting, the Board found that:

1. The proposed use will be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the By-Law. The proposed signage will effectively promote existing business operations on the site in a safe manner. These results are consistent with the purpose and intent of the By-Law.

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 as modified by a variance simultaneously issued by the Board for front yard setback. Namely, the proposed signage meets area and height limitations allowed by Special Permit.

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 existing businesses on the property. The proposed signage also eliminates or reduces nonconformities associated with a former ground sign on the property.

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 within the adjacent state highway. The proposed sign is replacing a former, nonconforming sign that was significantly larger in size. Visibility will be improved for both for motorists and pedestrians compared to the former sign.

6. Adequate and appropriate facilities exist or will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use. The proposed sign will be adequately supported and/or installed through reuse of the previous sign’s base and posts. The existing posts will be capped with covers and decorative panels to improve the appearance of the sign.

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 Mario Romania, Jr., the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the request for a Special Permit A1 under § V-B of the By-Law, allowing installation of a 24 SF ground sign at 28 Whiting Street in Business District B, subject to the following conditions:

1. The proposed signage shall be installed in a manner consistent with the approved plans and the representations made at the hearings before the Board.

2. No internal illumination shall be allowed.

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
November 20, 2018