Monday, January 14, 2013

Annual Report 2012: Planning Board

The Planning Board, as established by MGL. Ch. 41 sec.70, is responsible for “…making plans for the development of the municipality, with special reference to proper housing of its inhabitants.” The Board is charged with administering the State’s Subdivision Control Law (MGL. 41 Ch.81K) and the local subdivision rules and regulations (Chapter 300). The Board makes recommendations to the Town Council on Zoning By-Law amendments and may at its own discretion adopt new subdivision regulations. The Board is also designated as the permitting authority for various site plan and special permit submittals under the local Zoning Bylaws (Ch. 185).

The Board works together with the Department of Planning and Community Development, the Department of Public Works, and Town Administration. In addition, the Board receives recommendations from the Design Review Committee on building design, elevation, and signage for commercial site plan permits and from the Conservation Commission on wetland related issues.

In the first quarter of FY2012, the Planning Board reviewed and issued decisions for several pending projects from FY2011 and began review of several Special Permit applications. One such Special Permit application was to allow a change in hours of operation at the BJ’s Wholesale Club and Gas Station location at 100 Corporate Drive, allowing the business to remain open later in the evening and open earlier on the weekend; a significant economic development opportunity for the BJ’s Wholesale Club.

One of the more significant site plans approved at the start of FY2012 was Hamilton Storage Technologies at 3 Forge Parkway; the company is constructing a 51,000 square feet facility to house its U.S. headquarters, light manufacturing operations, and accessory conference and training room uses.

Other notable Site Plans that occurred in FY2012 include the approval of a 37,800 square feet residence hall for Dean College at 100 West Central Street, and Emeritus Senior Living Center, a 2-story, 81-unit, Senior Assisted Living Facility at 656 King Street. Southern Acres, a 6- lot definitive subdivision on South Street was approved. An application to modify the Uncas Ave Subdivision was first heard by the Planning Board in April 2012, however, the applicant requested a continuance until the first quarter of FY2013 after a request for a Water and Sewer map extension from the Town Council.

The Planning Board also voted to endorse several 81-P plans and approved one Scenic Road Work Permit for work that coincided with the approval of Southern Acres Subdivision. In addition, like last year, there were numerous requests for extensions to complete previously approved site plans and subdivisions due to hard economic times inhibiting completion of site work by developers. However, the Planning Board did see seven (7) requests for Certificates for Site Completion and a significant increase in the last quarter of the fiscal year in application fees for site plans, special permits and limited site plans with pending discussions in FY13.

The Planning Board has, and will continue to focus on updating the existing zoning by-laws to more accurately define the needs and goals of the town. During FY2012 the Board referred several Zoning Bylaw amendments to the Town Council for approval; these included adding 36 parcels to the Biotechnology Uses Overlay Zoning District, rewrite of Chapter 185-20 Signs, and rewrite of portions of Chapter 185-45 D and E Special Permit Criteria. The three Zoning Bylaw amendments were subsequently approved by the Town Council.

The Planning Board also reviewed and made recommendations for amending the Town’s Subdivision Rules and Regulations to reduce the pavement radius of Dead-end Streets from 50 feet to 45 feet.

The Board continues to help property owners make the desired changes and improvements to their properties while fostering responsible growth and development in the Town of Franklin.

The Planning Board typically meets twice a month on Mondays at 7:00 PM in the Municipal Building. All Board meetings are open to the public, and are televised via Community Cable Access.

Planning Board Activity (July 2011 through June 2012):
Definitive Subdivisions 1
and Modifications 81-P Plans (ANR): 4
Site Plan 6
Limited Site Plans 15
Special Permits 7
Scenic Road Work Permits 1

Planning Board Membership
The Planning Board consists of five members and one associate member. The associate member participates in all hearings but only votes on Special Permits if one of the members is unable to act.

The Board members are elected and serve 4-year terms. In November of 2011, longtime Member Ronald Calabrese stepped down as a member but was re-appointed as an associate member after the November 2011 Town Election. Acting Associate Member William David was elected a full-member and Gregory Ballarino and John Carroll were re-elected as members until 2015.

In the second quarter FY2012, Mr. Calabrese resigned his position as Associate member and in a joint meeting of the Town Council and Planning Board, Gregory Rondeau was appointed as the Associate Member of the Planning Board until 2015.

Current Planning Board Members:
Anthony Padula, Chairman
Joseph Halligan, Secretary
Gregory Ballarino
John Carroll
William David
Gregory Rondeau, Associate Member
Ronald Calabrese- Resigned

Respectfully submitted,

Anthony Padula, Chairman

Please visit our website for additional information including application forms, and regularly posted agendas and meeting minutes at:

Published by the Town Clerk, this comes from the 2012 Annual Report

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