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Board of Appeals



Owner/Applicant: Sea Chain Marina LLC
C/O Hingham Shipyard Marinas
24 Shipyard Drive
Hingham, MA 02043

Agents: Jeffrey A. Tocchio
Drohan Tocchio & Morgan, P.C.
175 Derby Street, Suite 30
Hingham, MA 02043

Property: 24 Shipyard Drive (a/k/a 2 Essington Drive), Hingham, MA 02043

Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 34014, Page 53

Plan References: Plan entitled, "Existing and Proposed Structure Location Plan and East Elevation," prepared by Structures Engineering, 1020 Plain Street, Marshfield, MA, dated November 9, 2017, revised through April 22, 2019 (Drawing S-1)


This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the application of Sea Chain Marina LLC (the “Applicant”) for a Special Permit A2 under § IV-G and Special Permit A1 under § III-C, 8. of the Zoning By-Law (the "By-Law”) and such other relief as necessary to modify previously approved plans for buildings located on the Fisherman’s Pier at 24 Shipyard Drive (a/k/a 2 Essington Drive) in the Industrial District and Floodplain Protection Overlay District

The Applicant simultaneously filed with the Planning Board a related application for a waiver of Site Plan Review under § I-G and § I-I of the By-Law. The Planning Board considered the request during a regular meeting held on September 23, 2019, voting to find that the modification constitutes a minor site plan and waiving the requirement for a public hearing and Site Plan Review. The written decision was filed with the Town Clerk on October 3, 2019.

The Board of Appeals opened concurrent hearings on the special permit applications during a duly noticed public hearing on October 15, 2019 in Hingham Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The Board of Appeals panel consisted of its regular members Robyn S. Maguire, Chairman, and Paul Healey and associate member Mario Romania, Jr. The Applicant was represented by Scott Golding, Esq., Drohan Tocchio & Morgan, P.C. At the conclusion of the proceedings, the Board voted unanimously to approve the Major Modifications with conditions.

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 meeting.


By way of background, the Boards approved another Major Modification of the Hingham Shipyard Redevelopment in 2018. The modification related to the repair of approximately 222+/- linear feet of decking on the existing commercial pier at 24 Shipyard Drive. The Applicant also proposed to raise the elevation of the deck by approximately 1-ft. to el. 15.6 (BFE is 12) in an effort to reduce risk of damage from coastal flooding. A number of commercial structures or fisherman shacks were to be reconfigured and reconstructed following completion of the pier.

The current application was made in order to alter the massing and footprint of individual structures approved in 2018, though the overall building area on this portion of the pier would remain at 4,044 SF. The proposed plan revisions triggered a Major Modification as defined by Condition #3, subsection C of the Mixed-Use Special Permit because the proposed alterations increase the area of Structure A by more than 10%. In 2018, the Boards approved a 385 SF building in this location. The currently proposed plan calls for a 576 SF building, representing a 50% increase in the area of Structure A. However, the revised plan also depicts a comparable (191 SF) reduction in the area of Structure B. Please see below excerpts from the 2018 approved plan and 2019 proposed plan that confirms that the proposed structures will maintain the same overall area (4,044 SF).

The application also asks that the Board consider allowing similar changes in the future administratively as long as the overall area of the structures on the commercial pier does not exceed 4,044 SF. Such an allowance would provide the Applicant with flexibility to customize the individual structures for particular tenants. Given the small size of the approved structures, ranging from 385 SF to 1,265 SF, even relatively modest changes can trigger a Major Modification based on the currently effective threshold limit of 10%. The Board committed to creating such a process with limitations set forth below.


Based on the information submitted with the application and presented during the hearing, the Board finds that the proposed modification will not affect the specific findings made by the Board in conjunction with its Special Permit A1 and A2 Decision for the Hingham Shipyard Redevelopment, originally issued on May 12, 2003, as amended.


Upon a motion made by Paul K. Healey and seconded by Mario Romania, Jr., the Board voted unanimously to GRANT the requested Special Permit A2 under § IV-G and Special Permit A1 under § III-C of the By-Law and such other relief as necessary to modify previously approved plans for buildings located on the Fisherman’s Pier at 24 Shipyard Drive (a/k/a 2 Essington Drive) in the Industrial District and Floodplain Protection Overlay District, subject to the following conditions:

1. All conditions of the previous Special Permit Decisions for the Property remain in effect unless specifically modified by this Decision.
2. The Applicant shall construct the Project in a manner consistent with the approved plans and the representations made at the hearing before the Board.
3. The Applicant shall be permitted, after review and approval by the Zoning Administrator and Building Commissioner, to alter the specific dimensions of Structures A – E on the commercial pier by no more than 50% provided that the overall area of the structures remains at 4,044 SF and five buildings remain.

For The Board of Appeals,

Robyn S. Maguire
January 13, 2020