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TOWN OF HINGHAM
Board of Appeals
NOTICE OF DECISION
IN THE MATTER OF:
Applicant: Robert D. Weeks Owner: Bare Cove Properties, LLC
Redeye Roasters, Inc. 3 Otis Street
3 Otis Street Hingham, MA 02043
Hingham, MA 02043
Agent: Kevin M. Burke, Esq.
738 Main Street
Hingham, MA 02043
Property: 3 Otis Street, Hingham, MA 02043
Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Book 36276, Page 124
Plan References: (1) “Proposed Canopy,” prepared by PVI Site Design, LLC, dated February 15, 2021 (1 Sheet); and
(2) “Alterations to: Redeye Roasters,” preparer unknown, dated February 15, 2021 (1 Drawings)
(3) “Redeye Coffee Roasters – Proposed Addition Rendering,” preparer unknown, dated February 15, 2021 (1 Drawings)
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS:
This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the application of Redeye Roasters, Inc. (the “Applicant”) for Variances from §§ IV-A and III-H of the Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”) and such other relief as necessary to construct a canopy/pavilion over the existing patio at 3 Otis Street in the Waterfront Business and Hingham Harbor Overlay Districts.
The Board opened a duly noticed public hearing on the application during a meeting held remotely via Zoom on March 16, 2021 pursuant to the Order issued by the Governor of Massachusetts, dated March 12, 2020, Suspending Certain Provisions of the Open Meeting Law and applicable provisions of the Open Meeting Law found at 940 CMR 29 et seq. The Board panel consisted of its regular members Robyn S. Maguire, Chair, and Paul K. Healey, and associate member Joseph Ruccio. The Applicant was represented during the hearings by Kevin M. Burke, Esq. and Robert D. Weeks. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board voted unanimously to approve the requested relief, with conditions 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.
BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION
The subject property consists of 9,030 SF of land. The lot is roughly pie-shaped, bounded by Hingham Harbor, Otis Street, and the Town Pier property. It is improved by a commercial building (ca. 1950) that is partially occupied by the Redeye Roasters coffee shop. The proposed plan would locate a canopy over an existing patio outside the coffee shop to provide some weather protection for customers accessing the building and the walk up service window. The structure would result in a 0’ side yard setback and 33’ front yard setback where 25’ and 40’ are respectively required in the Waterfront Business District. These standards may be waived by the Planning Board through a Special Permit A3 under the Hingham Harbor Overlay District regulation, but only to 10’ minimum and 20’ respectively.
The Board noted during the hearing that it rarely grants variances, but added that the particular lot is unusually shaped for the district, which consists of just a handful of properties. Moreover, use of the patio would not change. No additional seating would be offered under the canopy, rather the structure would simply provide protection for existing customers. The structure, which has no walls, would additionally maintain views of the harbor.
Based upon the information submitted and received at the hearing, and the deliberations and discussions of members during the meeting, the Board has determined that:
- Circumstances related to soil, shape, or topography especially affect the land or structures in question. The subject property has an unusual, pie-like shape. It is previously improved by a nonconforming commercial building and related site improvements, including a patio. These circumstances in combination especially affect the subject property and not generally the zoning district.
2. The literal enforcement of the By-Laws would involve substantial hardship financial or otherwise. The lot shape in relation to the location of the existing commercial building and associated improvements present physical and practical difficulties to by-right construction elsewhere on the lot. A grant of a variance in this instance will allow for the reasonable improvement of the existing patio on the property.
3. A Variance may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good. The proposed improvements will not create any noise, traffic, or result in other similar negative impacts. There will be no adverse effects on the neighborhood and there will be no harm to the public good resulting from the proposed construction. Views of the harbor will be maintained since the proposed canopy has no walls.
4. A Variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purposes of the By-Law. The granting of a dimensional variance will permit the location of an allowed accessory structure on the property over an existing patio. Relief is consistent with the purposes of the By-Law, which include the promotion of access to and enjoyment of the land along Hingham’s inner harbor, while protecting and enhancing its cultural, scenic and natural character.
Upon a motion made by Paul K. Healey and seconded by Joseph Ruccio, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Variances from §§ IV-A and III-H of the By-Law and such other relief as necessary to construct a canopy/pavilion over the existing patio at 3 Otis Street in the Waterfront Business and Hingham Harbor Overlay Districts, subject to the following condition:
- The proposed work shall be completed in a manner consistent with the approved plans and representations made during the public hearing.
For the Board of Appeals,
Robyn S. Maguire, Chair
May 26, 2021