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TOWN OF HINGHAM
Board of Appeals
NOTICE OF DECISION
WAIVER UNDER MGL C. 40A, S. 3
IN THE MATTER OF:
Applicant/ Mezitt Properties, LLC
Owner: Peter Mezitt
10 Linden Street
Hopkinton, MA 01748
Premises: 1099 Main Street, Hingham, MA 02043
Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds, Book 52399, Page 90
Plan References: Plan entitled, “Proposed Conditions Plan,” prepared by Nantasket Survey Engineering, LLC, 46 Edgewater Road, Hull, MA, dated February 20, 2020, and marked to depict proposed ground sign location (1 Sheet)
Signage specifications plan entitled, “Weston Nurseries Entrance Hingham Sign Sketch,” preparer unknown, dated February 16, 2020 (Sign A, 1 Drawing)
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS
This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the "Board") on the application of Mezitt Properties, LLC, Peter Mezitt, (the “Applicant”) for a Waiver under MGL c. 40A, s. 3 and such other relief as necessary to locate a sign, consisting of approximately 20 SF in area and located with a 0’ front yard setback, for an exempt horticultural use in Residence District B. 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 remotely on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 by telephone as an alternate means of public access pursuant to an Order issued by the Governor of Massachusetts dated March 12, 2020 Suspending Certain Provisions of the Open Meeting Law. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Zoning Administrator granted the requested Waiver, 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.
Section V-B of the Hingham Zoning By-Law allows ground signs of up to 20 SF with 15’ setbacks from property lines in the applicable zoning district. As noted in the Procedural History, the Applicant proposed a sign that would not comply with the setback requirement. The Applicant has also, however, demonstrated that it qualifies as an exempt horticultural use under MGL c. 40A, s. 3. The statute as amended in 2010 states that a local zoning bylaw cannot prohibit, unreasonably regulate, or require a special permit for such a use on a parcel of land that is greater than 2 acres, where the use is revenue generating .
The Applicant also represented during the hearing that the proposed ground sign would be consistent, in terms of size and overall design, with other ground signs along Main Street. He pointed out that the Main Street right-of-way was wide in this portion of Main Street, adding that a conforming location would make the sign difficult to view by passing motorists. The proposed ground sign location would more adequately direct motorists to the landscape nursery. Finally, in response to concerns raised by abutters to the property, the Applicant confirmed that any external lighting would comply with standards specified in the Zoning By-Law and be turned off by 10 PM daily.
FINDINGS AND DECISION
Based on the information submitted and presented during the hearing, and discussions during the meeting, the Zoning Administrator found that that imposition of the 15’ front yard setback for the proposed ground sign would constitute an unreasonable regulation as it would not further the exempt commercial agricultural use of the property. The requested Waiver under MGL c. 40A, s. 3 to allow a ground sign of approximately 20 SF to locate with a 0’ front yard setback at 1099 Main Street is GRANTED, subject to the following condition:
1. The sign shall be installed in a manner consistent with the approved plans and representations made by the Applicant during the hearing such that any external lighting be turned off prior to 10 PM daily.
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,
April 14, 2020