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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 Variance from § V-B of the Zoning By-Law and such other relief as necessary to install a 24 SF ground sign located 5’ from the front property line where a 10’ setback is required 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 Special Permit A1 under § V-B to install the 24 SF ground sign. 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 relief, 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 site 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. There are circumstances relating to soil conditions, shape or topography especially affecting the land but not affecting generally the zoning district. The lot is affected by an irregular shape that is shallower in depth than others in the District. This circumstance, in combination with the placement of the existing structures and parking areas on the lot, are not generally found in the zoning district.

2. The literal enforcement of the Bylaws would involve substantial hardship financial or otherwise. Literal enforcement would inhibit the owner’s ability to effectively advertise the allowed businesses on the property. A grant of a Variance in this instance will allow for proper signage to direct customers to the shopping center.

3. A variance may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good. The proposed signage location will enhance the visibility of the approved business use and eliminate any potential traffic hazards to motorists and pedestrians on the site. There will be no adverse effects on the neighborhood and there will be no harm to the public good.

4. A variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purposes of the Bylaw. The proposed signage will allow for the effective promotion of permitted business operations on the site in a safe manner. The granting of a dimensional variance in this instance is consistent with the purposes of the By-Law.


Upon a motion made by Joseph M. Fisher and seconded by Mario Romania, Jr., the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the request for a Variance from § V-B of the By-Law, allowing a 24 SF ground sign to be located 5’ from the front property line where a 10’ setback is required 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