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TOWN OF HINGHAM
Board of Appeals
NOTICE OF DECISION
IN THE MATTER OF:
Applicant/ LCB Penniman Hill LLC Agent: Walter B. Sullivan, Esq.
Owner: 3 Edgewater Drive 80 Washington Street
Nowood, MA 02062 Suite 101 Building B, Suite 7
Norwell, MA 02061
Premises: 276 Whiting Street, Hingham, MA 02043
Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 49874, Page 76
Plan References: Plan entitled, “Site Plan,” prepared by Bohler Engineering, 352 Turnpike Road, Southborough, MA, dated October 13, 2017, revised through June 28, 2018, and marked to depict proposed ground sign location (1 Sheet)
Signage specifications plan entitled, “Monument Sign, Option A,” prepared by Poyant, 125 Samuel Barnet Boulevard, New Bedford, MA, dated May 1, 2019 (1 Drawing)
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS
This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the application of LCB Penniman Hill, LLC (the “Applicant”) for a Variance from § V-B of the Zoning By-Law (the By-Law”) and such other relief as necessary to install a 25.8 SF ground sign at the entrance to the assisted living facility located at 276 Whiting Street in Residence District C. In accordance with M.G.L. c. 40A, § 13 and pursuant to the Board’s Rules and Regulations, the application was heard by the Zoning Administrator, Emily Wentworth, at a duly noticed public hearing held on Thursday, September 5, 2019 at 9:30 am in Hingham Town Hall, 210 Central Street. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Zoning Administrator granted the requested relief, with conditions as set forth below.
Throughout the hearing, the Zoning Administrator 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 223,544 SF, or 5.13 acres, of land located on the southerly side of Whiting Street (Route 53). In January 2018, the Board issued a Special Permit to the Applicant allowing the property to be redeveloped for a 90,591 SF GFA, 90-unit senior living facility. The Applicant now seeks relief to install a ground sign in connection with the permitted use of the property. The sign would be mounted on two (2) granite posts placed 5’ from and parallel to the centralized driveway on Whiting Street. The sign panel itself would have the following dimensions and specifications:
Maximum Area: 25.8 SF (6’-5” x 4’ Sign Panel)
Maximum Height: 6’
Minimum Setback: 15’ (Front)
Maximum Number: 1
With the exception of the maximum area, the proposed ground sign conforms to all applicable standards specified in the By-Law for residence districts. The By-Law does however limit ground signs to a maximum of 20 SF. During the hearing, the Applicant and its Agent explained that the irregular shape of the lot, combined with the location of wetland resource areas to the rear and appropriate soils for disposal of wastewater at the front, caused the senior living facility to be situated at an angle to Whiting Street and partially obscured by the onsite wastewater treatment plant building at the front (northeastern) corner of the lot. These shape and soil conditions are not common in the neighborhood or the zoning district.
The Applicant also represented during the hearing that the proposed LCB signage would be consistent, in terms of size and overall design, with other ground signs along Whiting Street and specifically those advertising the Range (306 Whiting Street) and Linden Ponds (300 Linden Ponds Way). The Zoning Administrator pointed out these developments were either located in a different zoning district or permitted through an alternative zoning process, but acknowledged that the travel speeds along those portions of the state highway would be similar. The Applicant suggested that the proposed signage with its slightly larger size would more adequately direct motorists at these higher travel speeds to the development.
Based on the information submitted and presented during the hearing, and discussions during the meeting, the Zoning Administrator found that:
1. Circumstances related to the irregular lot shape and variable soil conditions caused the permitted senior living facility to be situated at an angle to Whiting Street (Route 53). These circumstances in combination especially affect the property and not generally the zoning district in which it is located.
2. Literal enforcement of the By-Law would involve substantial hardship. Absent a larger ground sign, the facility would not be sufficiently visible to visitors and other motorists traveling on the adjoining state highway.
3. Desirable relief may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good. The visibility of the sign and safety of motorists entering and exiting the facility from and to Whiting Street will be improved. The design of the sign is consistent with others in the general area.
4. The requested Variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purpose of the By-Law. The relief will allow effective promotion of the permitted use of the property. Additionally, the area of incursion beyond that otherwise permissible is relatively modest in size.
The application of LCB Penniman Hill, LLC for a Variance from § V-B of the By-Law and such other relief as necessary to install a 25.8 SF ground sign at the entrance to the assisted living facility located at 276 Whiting Street in Residence District C, subject to the following conditions:
1. The ground sign shall be installed in a manner consistent with the approved plans and the representations made at the hearing.
2. The ground sign shall be externally illuminated from below the sign by white, stationary light shielded and directed solely at the sign panel.
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,
September 5, 2019