FRANKLIN - Franklin's Master Plan Committee will hold its first two public hearings this month to hear from residents about what they want for the future of Franklin. The first hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, May 9 at 7 p.m. in the training room on the 3rd floor of the Franklin Municipal Building. For those unable to attend a weeknight meeting, a second hearing has been scheduled on Saturday, May 19 at 10:00 in the conference room at Franklin Public Library.
"These hearings will afford Franklin residents an opportunity to provide input on the planning process, and get involved early in developing the Franklin's Master Plan," noted Committee Chairman and Town Councilor Jeffrey Roy. "We have been meeting for several months formulating a structure for our work, and we want to hear from the Franklin community about priorities and concerns. We have scheduled the two hearings to afford citizens a good opportunity to participate in the process."
In December 2011, following the election of a new Town Council, the Master Plan Committee was formed to develop documents, review research and data, and obtain public input to outline and compose a Master Plan for the community. In addition, the Committee will incorporate a strategic plan into this effort that will invite residents to visit the questions of who we are and what we want for our community.
"Attending a public hearing will provide Franklin's residents and organizations a great opportunity to provide the Town's Master Plan Committee with input as the Committee works toward development of a vision for the Town's future," said Bryan Taberner, the Director of Franklin's Planning & Community Development Department. "The public process is an extremely important component of any comprehensive planning process, as the resulting goals and objectives will help to focus the decision making of Town officials well into the future."
By law, a Master Plan is a statement through text, maps, illustrations or other forms of communication that is designed to provide a basis for decision making regarding the long-term physical development of the municipality. In that context, the committee is looking at the following elements: Land Use, Housing, Economic Development, Circulation, Open Space and Recreation, Natural, Cultural and Historic Resources, Community Services, and Facilities. The Committee will establish recommendations for goals and policies in these areas and develop an implementation plan. The report is expected to be delivered to the Town Council by June 2013.
Beth Dahlstrom, Franklin's Town Planner is hoping to learn how the residents of Franklin view the community in which they live. She is interested in learning about what the residents see as the most important aspects of the community and what can the Town can do to enhance areas within the community to make it a better place to live. "I then hope the Master Plan Committee will be able to then use the information obtained at the Public Hearing to help formulate goals and objectives for use in the Master Plan," noted Dahlstrom..
The Master Plan Committee members are Jeffrey Roy, Chairman, Matt Kelly, Vice Chairman, Andy Bissanti, Secretary, Christi Apicella, Nathan Carlucci, John Carroll, David F. Dobrzynski, Jay Duncan, James Esterbrook , Gene Grella, Jeff Livingstone, Greg Rondeau, Timothy C. Twardowski, and Chris Vericker.
The Committee has a website on the Franklin Town page at http://town.franklin.ma.us/Pages/FranklinMA_BComm/Masterplan.
It also has a presence on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/FranklinMasterPlan.
In addition to the public hearings, residents can offer input online at either site.