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Board of Appeals



Applicant: Hingham Maritime Center
c/o Nancy Kerber
6 Blackberry Lane
Hingham, MA 02043

Owner: Town of Hingham
210 Central Street
Hingham, MA 02043

Property: 308 Cushing Street, Hingham, MA 02043

Title Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 1436, Page 133


This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the application of Hingham Maritime Center (the "Applicant") for a Special Permit A1 under § III-A, 3.7 of the Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”) and such other relief as necessary to locate the sailing and rowing club boats and equipment at 308 Cushing Street in the Official and Open Space District.

The Board held a duly noticed public hearing on the matter on December 18, 2018 in Hingham Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The Board panel consisted of its regular member Joseph M. Fisher, Chair, and Robyn Maguire, and associate member Mario Romania, Jr. Nancy Kerber appeared on behalf of the Hingham Maritime Center to represent the application to the Board. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Special 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, which is owned by the Town of Hingham, consists of 97,963 SF of land located on the east side of Cushing Street. The site is improved by a 10,000(+/-) SF building, parking lot, and yard area. The Hingham Municipal Light Plant formerly operated a service shop/garage from the building and for storage of utility poles and other equipment in the yard area. The property is currently used for the temporary winter storage of boats and equipment utilized by the Hingham High School rowing and sailing teams.

The Applicant operates a nonprofit community rowing and sailing program primarily from Town-owned property located on Barnes Wharf at Hingham Harbor. Since the wharf is impacted by flooding during winter storm events, the Applicant also seeks approval to conduct seasonal sailing and rowing club activities, primarily consisting of storage and repair of boats, from the existing building and parking area on the property pursuant to the terms of a non-exclusive and revocable license, executed pursuant to a vote of the Board of Selectmen on November 27, 2018, with the Town (the “License”). The Applicant represented that its proposed activities would be conducted in furtherance of and consistent with the License and any renewals, extensions or modifications thereof as may be voted upon by the Board of Selectmen. The proposed use is similar in nature to the former utility provider use and substantially the same as the current use by the Hingham High School rowing and sailing teams.


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. The proposed use will be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the Zoning By-Law, for the following reasons: The proposed use as developed will be in harmony with the general purposes and intent of the By-Law. The proposed use of the building is permitted in the Official and Open Space District. Moreover, the proposed seasonal use will not adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of any occupants, neighbors or the Town.

2. The proposed use complies with the purposes and standards of the relevant specific sections of this By-Law, for the following reasons: The proposal complies with the standards of relevant specific sections of the By-Law related to the use and will not alter the dimensional relief attained for the existing physical improvements as authorized by Variance, dated October 22, 1993.

3. The specific site is an appropriate location for such use, structure, or condition, compatible with the characteristics of the surrounding area, for the following reasons: The subject property has been used in substantially the same manner for decades. There is an existing storage garage and yard on the site that will be used seasonally by the Hingham Maritime Center sailing and rowing club as it is presently used by the Hingham High School sailing and rowing teams.

4. The use as developed and operated will create positive impacts or potential adverse impacts will be mitigated, for the following reasons: The proposed use of the property will be temporary and relatively passive in nature. No adverse impacts are expected.

5. There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians, for the following reasons:
Minimal traffic will be generated by the proposed use of the existing storage garage and yard. No hazard will result from the use.

6. Adequate and appropriate facilities exist or will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use, for the following reasons:
Adequate facilities, including specifically parking and wastewater disposal facilities, exist to support the proposed use of the existing building.

7. The proposed Project meets accepted design standards and criteria for the functional design of facilities, structures, stormwater management, and site construction, for the following reasons:
Not applicable. No changes are proposed to the building or the property in connection with the use.


Upon a motion made by Robyn S. Maguire and seconded by Mario Romania, Jr., the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the request by Hingham Maritime Center for a Special Permit A1 under § III-A, 3.7 of the By-Law to locate the sailing and rowing club boats and equipment at 308 Cushing Street in the Official and Open Space District, subject to the following conditions:

1. The proposed temporary, seasonal use shall be operated in a manner consistent with the approved plans and the representations made at the hearings before the Board and shall not be allowed earlier than November 1st and no later than May 31st each year.
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