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Central Meeting Room
Present: Planning Board Members, Paul Healey Chair, Sarah Corey, Clerk, Judy
Sneath and Gary Tondorf-Dick. Also present was Planner Katharine Lacy.
Mr. Healey opened the public meeting at 7:00 P.M. at the Hingham Town Hall.
RE: 60 Sharp Street - Continuation of Hearing-Site Plan Review
Present for the Applicant: Josh Bowes, Merrill Associates, and Garth Merrill, 60 Sharp Street Trust.
Present for the Board: John Chessia, Chessia Consulting
Ms. Lacy reported that this is a continuation of the hearing on the proposed medical office building proposed for the current site of Eldred Wheeler. The applicant seeks Site Plan Approval from the Planning Board in association with an application for a Special Permit A2 under III-E (5) b for the creation of a Medical/Professional Office in the Industrial Park District in the South Hingham Development Overlay District. Since the last hearing, the applicant has addressed several of the Board's concerns and responded to most of John Chessia's comments. The applicant has also met with the Board of Health and has preliminary (NOT official) approval for a revised, smaller septic design. The fire department has reviewed the plans and has indicated that they will have sufficient access to the building and to nearby fire hydrants. They are also requiring that sprinklers be installed in the building. Glen Olssen from the Hingham Police has reviewed the plans and feels that on and off-site traffic is satisfactory, and that impacts on Sharp Street will be manageable as designed. This project will also need an Order of Conditions from the Conservation Commission, and Board of Health Approval for the final design of the septic system.
Josh Bowes, engineer for the applicant, reported that since the last hearing they had modified the plans in response in response to the Board's comments. Per John Chessia's recommendation they did additional soils testing and determined that the drainage basin should be just a detention structure, without infiltration capacity. All of the roof-run-off will now be directed into a dry-well system located to the northwest of the building, which will reduce the amount of water to be handled in the detention basin. They also added two additional catch basins in the northeast corner of the parking lot.
John Chessia commented that he recommended that they relocated the dumpster to the upper parking lot, which would allow them to make the back driveway more narrow. He also recommended that they add another catch basin, and provide additional information on how the roof run-off would all go to the dry-well.
Paul Healey asked why all of the drainage basins were located in one corner of the lot, and Josh Bowes explained that the entire lot drained in that direction.
Paul asked Mr. Chessia whether the parking would be sufficient given the proposed mixed office/medical use. He also noted that it was traditional to determined parking based on the use that would require the most, and not to itemize parking bases based on use as the applicant had done. Mr. Callahan noted that they were limited by the constraints of the septic system to three medical professionals, and the rest of the building would be for offices. Mr. Chessia affirmed that there was sufficient parking for the proposed uses, but Board members noted that, should the mix of uses be modified in the future, the Building Commissioner should check to determine that there would be sufficient parking.
Board members reiterated their concerns about the safety of the driveway leading around to the lower level. Sarah Corey pointed out that it made the site looked cramped, as it pressed right up against the wetland buffer. Mr. Bowes responded that they were working with a pre-existing structure, which limited their design. Ms. Sneath asked why this driveway was needed and how suitable this space would be for a medical use. Mr. Callahan responded that the driveway would increase the marketability for certain "back-office" type professional, but would not be of interest to medical professionals.
Sarah Corey asked where snow would be stored, and Josh Bowes pointed to an area adjacent to the wetlands on the east side of the parking lot. He noted that if this was not approved by the Con Com the applicant had committed to moving it off site.
It was moved, seconded and SO VOTED, unanimously, by those present to approve the Site Plan for 60 Sharp Street with the following conditions:
The dumpster near the entrance to the lower level should be moved to another location in the upper parking lot.
Stamped drawings for the retaining walls at the rear entrance should be provided with the building permit application.
Prior to the issuance of a building permit, the applicant shall provide storm sewer design data for the catch basins in parking lot, and redesign the site drainage in compliance with the Town engineer's recommendations.
Prior to the issuance of a building permit, the applicant shall resubmit roof drainage plans for review and approval by the Town's review engineer.
A sloped trash rack shall be added to the lower outlet of the detention basin.
The applicant shall fix typos on plans regarding size of drywells; add a note to the plans that imported pervious granular fill be tested after the placement to confirm that soils are satisfactory.
Prior to the issuance of a building permit, the applicant shall get Con Com approval for proposed snow storage area
Any changes to the site plan resulting from review by the Board of Health or Con Com shall be reviewed by the Town's engineer to determine whether they constitute a major modification to the approved plans.
Ms. Murphy entered the meeting at this time.
Proposed Zoning Amendments for 2008
Ms. Lacy presented a list of nine amendments to the Hingham Zoning By-Law that had been suggested by various individuals and Town committees. The Board had a brief discussion about each of the proposed articles as follows:
1) Modify Section V-A (3) -Width of Parking Aisles. This was suggested by Advisory Committee Jerry Seelen.
2) Remove the land owned by the Aquarion Water Company on Main Street from the Personal Wireless Overlay District. This was supposed to happen at the 2007 Town Meeting as part of the DAS article, but was turned down by the Attorney General because a map was not submitted with the article.
3) Modify Section I, III -A, and V(A)
This article would create a site plan review process for exempt uses-see attached draft by Jim Toomey. Susan Murphy asked Ms. Lacy to get more information on Jim Toomey on whether recent case law didn't indicate that though agricultural uses may be exempt, the buildings in which they were located would not be exempt.
4) Modify III (A) 1.2 or 1.87 to expand the provision for accessory apartments
This is a perennial suggestion from the Housing Partnership that has new importance in light of the fact that it appears that since the Town modified its provision for accessory buildings illegal apartments are becoming more common. Board members had a long discussion about whether it wouldn't be better to permit regulate accessory apartments, rather than just watch them happen illegally. Paul Healey said that he recognized a growing need for apartments for grown children and older parents of residents, while Sarah Corey stated that she felt that it was more important to enforce the current By-Law, which prohibits accessory apartments. Board members asked Katy to pull together more information on this article.
5) Create Provision to allow for the construction of small houses on non-conforming lots. This was a sample By-Law sent to the Board from Jim O'Brien. Board members decided that they would not pursue this by-law change.
6) Historic Preservation By-Law. This was presented by HDC last year and deferred. Gary Tondorf Dick will look into it.
7) Create Overlay District allowing multi-family Housing near Train Stations
This was suggested by former HDC member Bonnie Hobbs. Board members determined that they would not pursue this By-Law change.
8) Increase minimum acreage for Mixed-Use Industrial District
This was discussed at the Zoning Permit Study Committee last year. Right now our mixed-use By-Law requires a minimum of 25 acres in the Industrial District, which would make several parcels across from the Shipyard eligible for development as "mini-Shipyards." Board members agreed to pursue this article.
9) Incorporate specific mitigation requirements into the Special Permit sections of the By-Law. This was suggested by Laura Burns and Jerry Seelen. This issue was examined by the Zoning Permit Study Committee last year. Susan agreed to ask the Zoning Permit Study Committee whether they would be taking it up again this year.
It was moved, seconded, and SO VOTED, to accept the minutes of August 20 and September 10, 2007.
Form A- 120 South Pleasant Street
This Form A divides Terry Geohegan's 7-acre parcel at the corner of South Pleasant and Lazell Street into five lots, all of which have adequate frontage in Residence District C.
It was moved, seconded, and SO VOTED, to endorse the Form A entitled "120 South Pleasant Street, Hingham, MA" dated September 5, 2007 and prepared by Aaberg Associates, 80 Washington Street, Norwell, MA."
Report from Planning Board Liaison to Community Preservation Committee
Judy Sneath reported that the CPC had had its first "kick-off" meeting for the year, featuring presentations from the Harbor Development Committee and Open Space Acquisition Committee. She noted that the deadline for applications was October 15. She added that the CPC discussed the possibility of changing the process for identifying potential Open Space projects.
Report on Beal Street Corridor presentation
Ms. Lacy and Ms. Sneath summarized the public presentation by consultant Jeff Dirk held on Thursday, September 12 on the findings of the Beal/West/North Street Corridor Study. In summary, public opinion was positive about the proposed traffic calming measures on upper Beal Street. The overwhelming concern was that the current configuration of the intersection at Beal/West and North was dangerous, and needed a traffic signal. Additionally, West Street residents complained of traffic back-ups due to the light at South Street, and closing of Torrent
The meeting was adjourned at 10:17 PM