Town Government &
Department: Planning Board
Role of the Planning Board
The establishment of municipal Planning Boards is authorized by Massachusetts General Law, chapter 41, section 81A. Among its many diverse roles, the Planning Board is charged with the following duties, paraphrased here from the Mass. General Law:
- Adopting a master plan and official map of the city or town
- Conducting studies, and, when necessary, preparing plans of the resources, possibilities and needs of the city or town for submittal to the Selectmen for their consideration
- Serving as the local authority for the Subdivision Control Act; adopting Rules and
- Regulations governing the subdivision of land in the Town of Hingham; reviewing all preliminary and definitive plan submittals.
- Drafting and submitting zoning amendments for consideration by the municipality. When a zoning amendment has been put forward, the Planning Board holds the public hearing and may also report its recommendation to the local legislature.
- Serving, in some instances, as the special permit granting authority (i.e. Special Permit A-3, Flexible Residential Development)
- Serving as Site Plan Review Authority for all Special Permits A-2 under consideration by the Zoning Board of Appeals
- Is always the "party of interest" in administrative appeals, special permit applications, and variance petitions within the municipality and in adjacent cities and towns;
- Under Mass. Gen. L. ch. 40, 15C, the Scenic Roads Act, the Planning Board is enabled to recommend roads for municipal consideration, and empowers the planning board to oversee specified activities.
||Term Expires |
|William Ramsey, Chairman
|Gary Tondorf-Dick, Clerk
|Walter Sullivan Jr.
Mary Savage-Dunham, Director of Community Planning
You can reach us at
210 Central Street, Hingham MA 02043
2012 Annual Report
The Hingham Planning Board is pleased to submit this annual report for 2012.
Hingham witnessed continued commercial, institutional and residential development over the past year. New construction and tenant fit-ups continued at Hingham Shipyard and in commercial districts throughout the Town. The Planning Board (PB) conducted eleven Site Plan Review hearings relative to non-residential construction projects, including a new middle school, a new greenhouse at Penniman Hill Farm, and the reconstruction of a church on Ward Street. In addition, the PB issued four Special Permit A3 approvals in conjunction with requests for parking waivers in accordance with the Town's off-street parking regulations. Several joint hearings were conducted between the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals regarding applications for a Special Permit A2. Together, the Boards permitted a new bank with a drive up teller on Whiting Street, a 12,000 s.f. specialty grocer at the Shipyard, and a Fitness Studio at 35 Pond Park Road.
During 2012 the Planning Board reviewed and endorsed ten Form A (Approval Not Required) plans for lot line changes, land swaps between adjacent parcels, and the creation of new lots in all areas of Town. Residential development on approved lots remained steady. The Board reviewed and ultimately approved an extension of time for Christina Estates at Baker Hill to September 15, 2013, which led to increased activity on this project.
In the months leading up to the 2013 Town Meeting, the Planning Board discussed and held public hearings on Phase II of the High School Fields project and a proposed amendment to the Zoning By-Law. The purpose of the article was to respond to recent legislation regarding medical marijuana. Because the Department of Public Health has not finalized their regulations on medical marijuana the Board proposed a temporary moratorium on Medical Marijuana Treatment Facilities until 2014 Town Meeting to allow the careful consideration of what regulations, if any, may be appropriate for Hingham.
Planning Board members or their designees continue to play an active role as members of several Town committees, including the Community Preservation Committee, Open Space Acquisition Committee, Veterans Council and Traffic Committee. As with recent previous years, 2012 was marked by productive and collaborative relationships between the Planning Board and a variety of other Town boards and committees, including the Board of Selectmen, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Historic Districts Commission, Harbor Development Committee, and the Hingham Development and Industrial Committee.
Judith Sneath, Chairman
William Ramsey, Clerk