Sunday, April 26, 2020

Franklin, MA: Economic Development Committee - Agenda - April 27, 2020

Economic Development Subcommittee Meeting
April 27, 2020 - 5:30 PM

Remote Meeting - Held on “Zoom” Platform

This meeting may be recorded by audio or video.

● F or link to Access the Meeting Click HERE then click “Open Zoom”
● Call-in Phone Number: Call 1-929-205-6099 and enter Meeting ID 968 2289 6271- then press “#”


1. Inclusionary Zoning Bylaw Proposal

The full agenda and associated bylaw proposal can be found

Memo From Town Administrator Jamie Hellen 

This evening will be an introduction to one of the Town Council’s goals for the 2020-2021 legislative session: inclusionary zoning. I have attached a copy of the proposed bylaw which we will review this evening.

We have all heard the many concerns from residents about the affordable housing crisis in the community, ranging from people who may be struggling to own a home, who may be homeless or in a transient situation, to many children and grandchildren of lifelong Franklinites who are unable to afford a house or rental for a price that a traditional middle class family can afford.

As the median income and median home value in Franklin has risen quickly in the last decade, the staff believes this is a proposal that will help achieve some of the community’s concerns.

Here are some basic points on the proposal:

● Inclusionary zoning is a way to increase affordable housing stock for middle class and low income families by requiring a set amount of units of any multi-family development to have deed restricted units at various income guidelines.

● The staff are suggesting a two tiered system equalling 25% (“Inclusionary Units”) of any project be deemed affordable:

○ “Affordable Units” are 15% of those units that would be under the federal HUD median income guidelines, which qualifies for credit on our Chapter 40B Standard Housing Index (SHI) system. In other words, we get credit for this 15% on our 40B percentage.

○ “Moderate Income Units” are 10% of those units would be under increased income guidelines commensurate with the Community Preservation Act (CPA), which are income guidelines set by CPA and are 20% higher to fit more with Massachusetts Housing markets. These units would not be credited under 40B,

but would address a major public concern of current and future generations not being able to afford Franklin.

● Subdivisions are not susceptible to this bylaw. Only multi-family dwellings over 3 units (rental complexes, condo complexes, and so on).

● An inclusionary plan is required for any project that is for 3 units or higher.

● Income guidelines are included in the bylaw proposal. Affordable units are determined by the federal government, moderate income units are defined by the CPA in state law.

● All of the communities surrounding Franklin have inclusionary zoning bylaw, including Medway, Bellingham, Wrentham and Norfolk with many other communities already accepting similar bylaws or considering them this year.


To illustrate how this works, use the Dean Avenue apartments as an example, which was permitted for 257 units.

If inclusionary zoning had been in place:

● 25% of the 257 is 64.25 units, which would be affordable.

● Under the proposal this would round down to 64 units.

● Thus, 64 units would be deed restricted at income guidelines to assist people trying to afford Franklin housing.

● 25 units would be at higher income limits to CPA, which is at 100% of median income to address the middle class housing crunch.

● 39 units would be a slightly lower income amount, which is 80% of median income, but would count toward our 40B percentage with the state, helping Franklin stay at above 10% to ensure our zoning does not get overruled by development proposals.

I recognize this proposal will generate many questions and look forward to a discussion.

Franklin, MA: Economic Development Committee - Agenda - April 27, 2020
Franklin, MA: Economic Development Committee - Agenda - April 27, 2020

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