Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Live reporting: Billboards and Pond St


  • Billboards
brief update by Jeff Nutting on the discussion on the summary from the Economic Development Committee
proposal representatives are not present at this meeting
suggestion from Town Administrator to not move forward

brief discussion on what to do without their presence

Richard Circone (?) - clarification questions around proposal

Padula - they knew they had the opportunity to be here

Pfeffer - should give them the chance to come before us

Cerel - need to talk about rezoning without reference to money

Padula - only up for discussion, I know Attorney Doherty, he is good, not sure why we are allowing him to come again when he had this time

Bissanti - I would think we should allow them to

Eileen Mason - I had put out a posting on Facebook and not many were for this. This would need the master plan goals, it is a bad image for us to there on i495. It is not a good intersection already. It could be a huge distraction

Nutting will get a date and add it to a future agenda

  • Pond Street Land Discussion
Kelly - reminder 5 minutes for speaking, reminder on being cordial and being good citizens of Franklin, will have time to get everybody

sewer beds until 1978, located along i495 and Pond St
couple of RFP's without getting anyway
did get a submittal with the last RFP for condominiums

Pond St property map  shown at the meeting
Pond St property map  shown at the meeting

three options

some manmade wetlands, some natural
MIne Brook runs along one side by i495
natural zoning due to the wetlands as to what can be built on so nearby residents have a natural buffer

(photo of map to be added)

legal requirement of 40' set back along Pond St, as we own the land we can ask and declare for more

(map of the condo proposal to be added)

1 - option - accept current condo proposal

traffic would be minimal for the condos, the sale prices could go up or down depending upon the market; their proposal is a fair representation
condo revenue would be about $300,000 also

depiction of the current condo proposal
depiction of the current condo proposal

2 - option - go out for a business hotel
would sell for less (less land)
about $300,000 hotel revenue from room taxes and property taxes
about 800 cars, AM/PM peak different from condos
would deforest a bunch to put the hotel in, would save more space overall

Seth Jackson - resident with questions
the Council would have sole discretion now and in the future on what property was not sold (and available for sale)

Town met with MA DOT on the traffic at the Stop & Shop village mall plaza
DPW, town engineer, etc. visit the site
exploring options for short term fixes
possible signal timing
signal changes are really needed and would be 3-5 years for the long term solution to the traffic
we waited 22 years for the bridge over i495 to get approved and built
the State will need to address the hazardous intersection
different stack lanes, signal timing etc. study underway by State

Stephanie - question on traffic study, what does it include
Nutting - asked to include 1000 to be more aggressive

3 - option of doing nothing

Michelle (?)

Nutting - when any traffic study is being done, they do include the alternatives
there is a small percentage of people that would go north bound

Michelle - Pond St is used as a cut through to Medway
the Kennedy School is there and it is already dangerous

Maura Pearse -
my first choice would be for nothing, to let it remain vacant
let it be the golden mile, it would affect housing values depending upon what you do there

Seth Jackson -
I am opposed to any development of that property
we are over developed or getting to that point
not sure with a four chain hotel would do
we could be identified with the 'hotel town'
with EMC potentially going away, the capacity could be declining
the intersection is a nightmare
a condo would be the best of a worse case

Nutting - the hotel would have more upside from a revenue side
no kids for the schools from a hotel

Eileen Mason - we have a housing shortage
we would need to build another senior place (like Eaton Place)
house more seniors, let them get out of the house (not assisted living)
the downtown projects ended up going to seniors and singles, not to the commuters

Nutting - the housing trust, you need 7-10M dollars to do something like that
can do so if you have the community preservation act but not well positioned without that
demand will skyrocket
given the current rules and regs probably not going to happen

Richard Ciccone -
is it because we need the money, the value may increase as the time goes forward
it may force us to be more frugal, not that we are lavish, we aren't
I don't want RT 140 to look like RT 9 in Natick

Stephanie Paziokas (spelling)
the three options
an other alternative, addimately opposed to hotel
condos, with some school children, we are not terribly worried about adding school children

the recent Recreation Survey asked about purchasing conservation land
make it a usable access point for Mine Brook, as in Alan Earls' proposal
referenced in Franklin Matters
would like that to be a consideration

Sandy Verhagen
opposed to a hotel on the site, for what it would do to the community
it would detract from the community, it likely would end up with a sign along i495 to attract
if it must be developed, let's go with the condos
we heard before that condos do not attract children, so what has changed in the last year
EMC has suffered some cuts, this will likely affect the hotel capacity
selling a portion of the land, unless there is some guarantee, what would remain would be dangerous and affected by future decisions

Nutting - condos produce less kids than a typical single family home

reminder of the meeting on Jan 28th regarding the Mine Brook and Army Corp of Engineer land

Padula - appraisal?
Nutting - a minimum bid about $1.560M

Padula - issue with the contamination on the site, who is responsible?

Nutting - the purchaser would be responsible for whatever conditions remain

In the RFP it called for all we asked for, if the proposal would were to go forward, a formal plan would be put through the Planning Board process along with others involved
a traffic study would still have to be done
there would still be public access, per the RFP

Jones - it needs to be built not so much be cause of the revenue, we have a demand for more housing, I am not opposed to bring more kids in, I have filled my quota, we still have a say as this goes forward

Nutting - I would anticipate having an agreement, since it is the Town's property we would do this; there are about 600 units in the pipeline, about 500 of them appartments

Jones - one of the things I like the barrier between Pond St and i495, as a significant site and sound buffer

Nutting - would it be this heavily wooded? no but there will be some thing left due to the wetlands, etc.

Dellorco - I agree with Councilor Jones, bring the kids. I am concerned about the traffic

Nutting - you need an official traffic study, the housing traffic wouldn't all be needed at the same time, there is space on Pond St to handle the traffic going out. The issue is the left hand turn coming off 140 to Pond St

Bissanti - I am passionate about that as it is my old neighborhood, thank you for being vocal and active. I hope the Council makes a good decision.

Pfeffer - most of the condos are 3-bedroom and there arent enough taxes to pay for the students that would come. 99 condos is too much for that piece of land. How are you going to fit it all there?

Bissanti - most of the RFP responses had residential components and we finally asked for it specifically. We used as a frame work, They all came back with a residential component. They come back for one reason, it is a residential area, that is the highest and best usage there.

Kelly - it would be better to have 2 bedrooms rather than 3 to help with the school budgeting, the state doesnt cover the student

Nutting - that would be a negotiable issue on the 2 vs 3 bedrooms; last year, the state aid has been going down due to our enrollment decline

Kelly - the enrollment decline is all around us

Padula - I want to commend Councilor Bissanti for his passion and for his patience. How long have we been doing this? about a decade?

Roy McDowell, Baystone Development
doing a project in Hopkinton and Framingham
we'd be pleased to take on a project in Franklin

we would be doing trails, and clean up
we would do some combination of 2-3 bedrooms
age targeted, i.e first floor master bedrooms

the $311,000 is really a net number after paying for students and fire, etc.

if the neighbors would like to get together with Todd and myself, the right bedroom count with the right features would be attractive for Franklin

Jones - could you clarify the money?

Nutting - $300,000 would be part of the new growth and then to the general fund
sale of the land would be earmarked for capital investment (a project that would be minimum of 20 years)

No single family allowed in the zone so it would be 2 or 3

Stephanie - Would any of this go to OPEB?

Nutting - all money coming in is not earmarked and then allocated by the council

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