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Board of Appeals



Owner/Applicant:  MDC Properties-Abington St., LLC
 286 Commonwealth Ave, Unit 5
 Boston, MA 02115

Agent: Attorney Walter B. Sullivan
80 Washington Street
Building B, Suite No. 7
Norwell, MA 02061

Property: 73 Abington Street, Hingham, MA 02043

Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 47538, Page 288

Plan Reference: Plan set entitled, "Site Development Plans for Proposed Warehouse Facility,” prepared by Bohler Engineering, 352 Turnpike Road, Southborough, MA, dated July 25, 2018, revised through January 18, 2019, including architectural plans prepared by Philippe Thibault Architect, LLC, 1168 Lakeview Avenue, Dracut, MA, revised through September 12, 2018, (29 Sheets)


This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the application of MDC Properties-Abington St., LLC (the "Applicant") for a Special Permit A2 under § III-E, 7. of the Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”) and such other relief as necessary to construct three commercial/industrial buildings resulting in a floor area ratio of 0.45 at 73 Abington Street in the Industrial Park and South Hingham Development Overlay Districts. As required under § I-I, 2.b. of the By-Law, the Applicant simultaneously filed an application with the Planning Board for Site Plan Approval, along with a related application for a Special Permit A3 Parking Determination and/or Waivers under § V-A of the By-Law.

The Board held a duly noticed public hearing on the matter on November 13, 2018 in Hingham Town Hall, 210 Central Street. Following an initial presentation and discussion, the Board continued the hearing at the Applicant’s request to allow time for the Planning Board to complete its review. The Planning Board filed its Site Plan Approval in connection with the application for a Special Permit A2, along with a Special Permit A3 Parking Determination, with the Town Clerk on February 15, 2019. The Board then resumed its proceedings on February 26, 2019, at which time the Board, in accordance with § I-I, 2.b., voted unanimously to grant the requested Special Permit, with conditions as set forth below.

The Board panel consisted of its regular member Joseph M. Fisher, Chair, and associate members Joseph W. Freeman and Michael Mercurio. Walter Sullivan, Esq. and Kayla MacLeod, Esq. of Sullivan & Comerford P.C., and the project engineer, Jesse Johnson, P.E., appeared before the Board to represent the application.

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 approximately 5.6 acres (244,667 SF) of land located on the northeasterly side of Abington Street. A single-family dwelling and detached garage presently occupy the site, which is otherwise primarily wooded, with smaller areas of wetland to the rear and scattered ledge outcroppings.

The proposed plan calls for removal of the existing improvements and construction of three new buildings totaling approximately 110,100 sq. ft gross floor area (GFA). The proposed buildout would result in a floor area ratio of 0.45, which requires a Special Permit A2. The Board confirmed that the plan complies with all other dimensional standards specified in the By-Law. In terms of proposed uses, the buildings would serve both as office and storage warehouse space. The By-Law respectively allows these uses by-right in the district under Sections III-A, 4.10 and 4.14.

The original plan submitted with the application proposed two curb cuts on Abington Street, including one full movement (north) and one exit only (south) access point. The southern curb cut has been eliminated from revised plans. Circulation through the site, as revised, consists primarily of two-way drives with the exception of a limited one-way travel lane to the west of Building C. Other planned improvements include 58-parking spaces, drainage system, wastewater disposal system, and landscaping.

As noted in the Summary of Proceedings, the Planning Board reviewed and approved the project with conditions. The development also triggered filings with the Conservation Commission, including a Request for Determination of Applicability for the proposed water installation and a Notice Intent for the overall project. The Commission likewise voted to approve the project with conditions on February 25, 2019.


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 § I-F, 2:

1. Use of the property is in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the Zoning By-Law. The proposed commercial use of the property is in harmony with the general purposes of the By-Law. General office and storage warehouse uses are permitted by right pursuant to Sections III-A, 4.10 and 4.14 of the By-Law in both the Industrial Park and South Hingham Development Overlay Districts. Moreover, the proposed uses as conditioned will not adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of any prospective tenants, customers, neighbors, or the Town.

2. The proposed use complies with the purposes and standards of the relevant specific sections of the By-Law. The proposed use promotes the purpose and objectives of the South Hingham Development Overlay District in that it will encourage a business mix that maintains economic vitality in the District and will have no significant traffic impact on residential neighborhoods. The proposed buildings will also comply with all setback and other dimensional standards specified in the By-Law.

3. The specific site is an appropriate location for the proposed use and is compatible with the characteristics of the surrounding area. The property fronts on Abington Street, which is a two-lane local road, striped with a double yellow centerline. Surrounding land uses include a mix of industrial, commercial, educational, and nonconforming residential dwellings. The site is an appropriate location for the proposed uses.

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 resulting from either the proposed storage warehouse or office use.

5. There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians. The principle use of the property - storage warehouse – is a relatively low traffic generator and is not expected to create any negative impacts for motorists or pedestrians. Based on the Institute of Transportation Engineers Trip Generation Manual, the project is projected to produce approximately 219 vehicle trips per day. A single curb cut on Abington Street will provide access to and egress from the site. Circulation through the site consists primarily of two-way drives with the exception of a limited one-way travel lane to the west of Building C. Based on this passive nature of the proposed storage warehouse use, the Applicant requested and the Planning Board approved a waiver from the standard parking requirement of 131 parking spaces. A total of 58 parking spaces will be developed in connection with the buildings.

6. Adequate and appropriate facilities exist or will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use. The Applicant will provide wastewater disposal facilities, subject to the approval of the Board of Health, for the development. Dumpsters will be located as shown on the plan and screened appropriately.

7. The proposal meets accepted design standards and criteria for the functional design of facilities, structures, stormwater management, and site construction. The proposed improvements meet accepted design standards.


Upon a motion made by Joseph W. Freeman and seconded by Michael Mercurio, the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the request for a Special Permit A2 under § III-E, 7 of the By-Law to construct three commercial/industrial buildings resulting in a floor area ratio of 0.45 at 73 Abington Street in the Industrial Park and South Hingham Development Overlay Districts, subject to the following conditions:

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

2. In accordance with the provisions of the By-Law, the conditions imposed in the Planning Board Site Plan Approval, filed on February 15, 2019, are binding conditions to this decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals.

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 M. Fisher, Chair
March 14, 2019