Friday, August 9, 2013

2013 Master Plan: Broad, overreaching goals

In preparation for the Public Hearing on the 2013 Master Plan to be held Saturday, 10:00 AM at the Franklin Public Library, I am sharing this key section. "This section of the Master Plan contains the broadest, most overreaching goals of the Master Plan, and is intended to provide a basic direction for each section."


The following policy statement and general goals were developed by the Land Use and Economic Development subcommittee. The focus of these goals is to establish the Town as a center for development while deterring unnecessary growth.

Policy Statement: Adopt long-term sustainability, and start-growth principles to attain fuller, more efficient development, protecting natural resources and the New England, small town character of Franklin.

General Goals:
  • Designate areas for workforce housing in order to retain existing businesses and attract new industries;
  • Minimize the occurrence of new development by focusing on Brownfield re-development; and
  • Protect the health of our citizens and help sustain our businesses by preserving natural
  • lands and the resources they provide.

Natural, Cultural and Historic Resources

This element’s policy statement and general goals were drafted by the Open Space and Recreation and the Natural, Cultural and Historic Resources subcommittee. The focus of these goals is to protect and support Franklin’s history, character, and creative and cultural resources.

Policy Statement: Preserve Franklin’s New England, small town character through controlled growth, preserving scenic vistas, supporting local arts and culture, and protecting historic architecture.

General Goals:
  • Protect and preserve the integrity of natural resources in town;
  • Provide resources for the arts, and support cultural initiatives in town to foster education and creativity;
  • Maintain the Town’s historic appeal by identifying and protecting trademark land and historic characteristics.

Open Space and Recreation

The Open Space and Recreation and Natural, Cultural and Historic subcommittee developed this policy statement and general goals, which acknowledge the importance of open space and recreational resources for the physical and emotional health of Franklin’s residents. The policy statement and general goals aim to: increase open space and recreational availability and accessibility; maintain existing facilities and spaces for these resources; and make knowledge of these resources more abundantly available in Franklin.

Policy Statement: Open space and recreational resources are a key contributor to the quality of life in Franklin and an important aspect of the community’s appeal. Open lands help protect the Town’s water supply, manage flood waters, provide wildlife habitat, and provide opportunities for passive and active outdoor recreation within the Town.

General Goals:
  • Document the Town’s open space and recreational resources, and improve public awareness of these resources through increased education, signage, publicity, and events;
  • Preserve existing unprotected natural and open space resources in Franklin;
  • Provide opportunities for passive and active recreation to meet the community’s evolving needs;
  • Implement sustainable practices in the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of Franklin’s public parks and playgrounds; and
  • Investigate grant programs and other revenue sources available to provide funding for the goals and objectives of this chapter.


The Circulation and Housing subcommittee championed this section’s policy statement and general goals. This subcommittee made sure all of the Town’s priorities in transportation were up-to-date and comprehensively covered. The subcommittee and DPW were also heavily involved in the development of the specific Circulation goals, objectives and actions, for moving forward.

Policy Statement: Assure the safe and efficient movement of goods and people within the Town of Franklin, and across the regional transportation network, by providing a range of integrated transportation options.

General Goals:
  • Provide the necessary infrastructure to keep Franklin’s citizens and businesses moving and growing in town;
  • Support green, sustainable transportation initiatives by accommodating pedestrians and cyclists throughout town;
  • Reduce the dependence on single passenger vehicles by improving public transportation and ridesharing options; and
  • Improve access and circulation in the Downtown.


The Circulation and Housing subcommittee created this section’s policy statement and general goals, ensuring the equal treatment of all of Franklin’s residents, while protecting natural resources and welcoming new industry for continued growth and development within Franklin.

Policy Statement: Support in-fill housing practices and provide for all affordability options, giving Franklin’s residents the opportunity to maintain a decent standard of living.

General Goals:
  • Provide sufficient affordable housing;
  • Encourage clustered and mixed-use housing to minimize land-clearing as well as conserve open and natural lands;
  • Encourage the development of small scale housing units in and around the Downtown; and
  • Welcome new industrial development by designating areas for workforce housing.

Economic Development

The Economic Development policy statement and general goals were developed by the Land Use and Economic Development subcommittee, and address the long-term financial strength and growth for the Town of Franklin. These general goals, along with the specific Goals, Objectives, and Actions outlined in the Implementation Element, are tailored to be in-line with the State’s Economic Development Plan which addresses five initiatives: advancing education and workforce development for middle-skill jobs through coordination of education; economic development and workforce development programs; supporting innovation and entrepreneurship; supporting regional development through infrastructure investments and local empowerment; increasing the ease of doing business; and addressing cost competitiveness.

Policy Statement: Adopt strategies for business and workforce retention and attraction to diversify Franklin’s economic foundation, and increase its property tax yields.

General Goals:

  • Actively pursue the improvement of infrastructure to attract large industry, small businesses, and skilled workers;
  • Further incentivize the biotechnology, medical device, and research industries to come to Franklin; and
  • Advocate for the small business community, especially within and around the Downtown area.

Community Services and Facilities

The Community Services and Facilities subcommittee, with the assistance of Town Department Heads and other staff members, developed this section’s policy statement and general goals. The main priorities influencing this section were to serve Franklin’s residents and make sure any new services were developed sustainably.

Policy Statement: Provide adequate and appropriate facilities and infrastructure necessary to accommodate current and future community needs by maximizing use of existing resources and adding new assets in an economically prudent manner.

General Goals:

  • Continue to provide quality police, fire, and emergency medical services to keep Franklin’s residents safe;
  • Invest in Franklin’s future by increasing funding for its schools;
  • Increase the capacity of the Town’s water and sewer supply as needed to accommodate new industrial development and strengthen Franklin’s economic and social infrastructure; and
  • Support the safe and timely movement of people and goods throughout town.

The public input period is open until August 16, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. A copy of the Draft Plan is available online at, at Franklin Public Library or at the Department of Planning & Community Development in Franklin Municipal Building.

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