Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Real-time Reporting: Public Hearing on Zoning Map Change

Councilor Bissanti recused himself from the discussion

Kelly acknowledged receipt of letter from Franklin Advisory Committee endorsing the project.

Added: Franklin TV video replay is available

Note: added citizen names and additional info as the meeting continues beyond where I had left off initially on Weds night

Zoning Bylaw Amendment 16-775: Amendment - Zoning Map Changes from Rural Residential I to Residential VII an Area on Summer Street - 7:10 pm
Proposal to rezone from Residential I to Residential VII

Planning Board did approve the measure
11 acre parcel on the western side of Summer St
approx. 1 mile from downtown Franklin
close proximity to i495 and train station

Summer St is a hodge podge of uses
single family residences, outdoor recreational uses
multi-family (Palladini Village - actually off King St)

has pretty good views, on a clear day you are reported to be able to see Boston

Residential VII - more dense location of residences, smaller yard, larger decks and patio areas
targeting a different market place

Cooks Farm, building off 140, has sold 15 units and another 10 in line for sale
hence there is a market here for this type of home

no sidewalk along Summer St, (add sidewalk from King St) and small parking area (proposed for expansion) at the Franklin Town Forest as a benefit of the proposal

Attny Cornetta referencing the "Master Plan" and how this development proposal will meet all the objectives of the plan

making argument for increasing.improving downtown by increasing housing that is walkable to the area

attempting to create a vibrant area adjacent to the downtown area

spot zoning - referenced frequently in some zoning proposals
rulings from case law are clear, the benefits are for a 'well considered plan for the public benefit"

there are several uses already in the area so the change in zoning would not make it stand out

The decision of the Planning Board is key to this, while an advisory body, their unanimous approval is key to the overall benefits

approx. $271,000 in 1 time fees
approx. $250,000 in net tax revenue to the town (no maintenance of the roadways, would be covered by a homeowners association)

Kelly acknowledged receipt of letter from Lawrence Benedetto endorsing the proposal

Citizen 1 - Dave Nichols, 486 Summer St
"I am going to call it spot zoning as that it exactly what it is"
the character of the neighborhood doesn't fit, the road is already too fast and dangerous
"the only thing I can do is to appeal the zoning change"
homeowners are supposed to be notified via certified letter, that did not happen
"I am at a loss, I can believe that this is due process"

Citizen 2 - Sally French Winters, 486 Summer St
complaining about living in a construction zone abutting their property after living in the home for 33 years in a quiet neighborhood. This is an invasion of my privacy

Citizen 3 - Kurt Lovell, 711 Summer St
the Town Forest abuts this property and it is very well used. The traffic on the road is fast, it will be very dangerous

Citizen 4 - Anna Marie Bailey, 715 Summer St
the road leads to Sheldonville, a country road with 2 acre zoning. Take a step back and ask, do we want this type of zoning? We are trying to maintain our community. Talk to others about Cook's Farm, that looks horrific coming into Franklin. We don't need to be developing every pocket that we can. To add additional traffic to that road, you are asking for trouble

Citizen 5 - Deborah Lovell, 711 Summer St
If this was your neighborhood, would you be approving this? Would you want 34 houses in that little area. Franklin is one of the safest town in MA, are we going to change that? We have had faith in our Council and in the Town, so please consider that.

Citizen 6 - Eric Bearce, 493 Summer St
My concern is traffic, it is proposed for the peak of the hill and cars will be coming out into the traffic. You mentioned an urbanized development, but that is not the right place for it. It doesn't fit with the neighborhood

Citizen 7 - Kim Spellman, 6 Great Pond Road
If the Council accepts that this will benefit the downtown, it will be taking a risk. How will it affect the neighbors? My main reason is the density. In order to go outside the master plan, there needs to be some overriding interest. It can't be the $250,000 a year this will bring. Revenue is already contemplated as part of the plan. That can't be enough.

Citizen 8 - Alan Nelson, 479 Summer St
I'll be across the street from this development, traffic will be atrocious. This would double the amount of single family houses on the street now. There are not 34 houses on the street now. We brought in sewer for 5 houses several years ago and it was limited to that due to the sewer capacity. If they are putting in 34 houses, how is that going to affect the sewer system. There are wetlands, and you are close to Uncas Pond.

Citizen 9 - Brian Concannon, 15 Summer Heights Drive
it is by right to develop that as one acre lots, they have not demonstrated that there is a hardship if they don't do this. It does not fit with the neighborhood, it does not fit with the overall plan

Citizen 10 - Cynthia Honcharuk, 403 Summer St
Palladini Village affect my property with the water runoff. It is all ledge there. I have wildlife, deer woodchucks, and other wildlife. I don't know what taking 11 acres away from the wildlife is going to do? What is going to happen to them? To build this and overload the street with more houses is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Citizens 11 - Adam Sanders, 483 Summer St 
I too have had run off effects from the Palladini Village in back of my property. I have two little kids. It is bothersome to watch the traffic on the road. To put more cars on the street, to put cluster homes in both the front of my home and in the back (i.e. Palladini)

Citizen 12 - Michael Gavrilles 8 Squibnocket Road
I have walked from Squibnocket Road to downtown for 17 years, it is dangerous. Without sidewalks, it doesn't make the development work

Citizen 13 - Paige Duncan, 35 Gallison St
reading letter from two practicing planners, requesting to NOT rezone for the following reasons. Rather than haphazardly approving projects to avoid 40B, they should be taking leadership should be addressing 40B compliance. 
(leaving session for work conference call; picked up via replay of meeting)

Housing plan expired as it is only valid for 5 years. It should be updated before this project goes forward. Adding non-affordable units to inventory only increases the requirements to meet the 40B standard.

"This project is not consistent with smart goals. It is unlikely that the proposal would include 40B units."

Does the Council want to maintain the Master Plan? or make changes. It is not near downtown. 1.3 miles. There is no affordability. It is spot zoning. It will benefit the property owner.

"How does this impact affect the greater good of the town?"

Citizen 14 - James Giannotti, 2 Woodchester Road
I am wondering why we even have a Master Plan. Every month, you are making changes with amendments. Does it conform to the Master Plan, it doesn't. No evidence was provided. Is this the legacy that you really want to leave as your children?

Pellegri - I agree with much of what has been said. We as councilors are elected to look out for the best interests of the town and not just for an application. The 7 houses by vs. the 34, why would we ever do that? I am embarrassed when I see the houses on the left coming in from Wrentham. The pros? I came up with one, for the applicant. I really as my fellow councilors to think twice about this?

Dellorco - What would be the sewer?
Nutting - the applicant would have to have that extended, both sewer and water. They would have to pave curb to curb?

Dellorco - we don't need to notify?
Cerel - there is no requirement for a notification for a re-zoning.

Dellorco - has anyone done a traffic study?
Kelly - that would come after

Dellorco - What is our 40B?
Pfeffer - 9.35%

Nutting - 8 would have to be affordable if it were to be 40B
We did have discussions about about the sidewalk but not all the way down to Summer St.

Representative of Grandise Homes
Cerel - there is a rezoning issue and not a discussion of a particular project

Padula - What about the sidewalks?
Cornetta -we have had preliminary discussions on the sidewalk and some mitigations for no affordable housing. This would be a first step. We would be required to come back to the Planning Board and this board for special permits.

Pfeffer - I have a number of comments. We have a number of considerations. I am all in favor of affordable. We could have 120 affordable units there. The state would make us connect the water and sewer. The Glen Meadow units dropped off. I don't believe we will ever get to 10%. "The devil you know is better than the one you don't know." You don't like the look of Cook's Farm because it is the backside being built first.

Mercer - I have similar concerns that Council Padula spoke to. I'd like to go on record when they do come back, the bites of the apple, 2 and 3 bedroom will be issues that I will be looking at.

Padula - the Planning Board did approve this unanimously. This is cluster housing. I don't see this as post zoning.

Motion to close the hearing
Seconded, passed 8-0

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