Saturday, January 16, 2021

EDC 'Listening Session' - Jan 13, 2021 - Recap - Franklin's housing discussion starts

Quick Recap:
  • While this was the last of the 'listening sessions' the bulk of the meeting time was spent presenting an overview of housing in Franklin. The presentation was insightful and will be shared when made available.
  • Housing is one of the the key issues Franklin faces. The discussion will include the data points of this presentation, the demographics from the School study, the Market Study done by MAPC (from which these 'listening sessions' were started), and the realities of the post-pandemic world ahead of us. Keeping civil discourse with multiple threads and trying times will be a challenge but the end goal is required. Franklin needs to determine what it's housing goals will be.

For the time being photos of the slides shared during the meeting are all that is available. The doc is not part of the meeting agenda, nor if it has since been posted to the Town page, I have not found it. Once I do, I will share. Photos can be found in one folder:

The audio of the meeting will be shared soon.


As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session.
The Twitter hashtag can be found online

  • Swivel seat to do listening session starting now. #edc0113
  • Chair Melanie Hamblen opens meeting, runs thru the protocol statement as normal. #edc0113 Frongillo new member to subcommittee (replacing Chandler). Jones and Bissanti complete the 4 Council membership. Jamie touts the grant process deadline Friday
  • #edc0113 Economic Development legislation on Gov Baker's desk for approval. Bryan Taverner to review presentation on housing for Franklin.
  • #edc0113 housing slides and population slides (can't share all, will find doc to share - eventually)
  • More slides #edc0113
  • Getting to discussion on the legislation, not yet signed by Gov Baker; zoning change would be simple majority for Franklin 5 not the current 6 votes required. #edc0113 tenants right to purchase would be interesting for/if Franklin if chosen
  • After Council comments, question raised on how do you address the small business side and get better rents as many of them are too high. If the business can't afford, that would affect the residents affordability too. #edc0113
  • Could use a 'maker' or incubator type space for start ups, does require land/building owner to be willing to participate. #edc0113 new growth not likely to happen if affordability is mandated to be part of it, takes away their profit. Could renovate existing space
  • Residential complex downtown was all presold, to downsizers. Condo folks do want to walk to the restaurants downtown. Not much downtown now in pandemic. #edc0113 supply chain issues due to COVID, development in another Community shd be done now but due to supply issues
  • Inclusionary zoning was introduced for cities like Boston to invent development of private residence/condos Franklin at this time and foreseeable is not a good fit for this, numbers also speak to no rush to do something as we should be good thru 2030 #edc0113
  • Low income units are in shortage here and all other Communities around the state. Affordable housing is a higher market rate than low income, two separate needs, can't confuse them #edc0113 terms are important. Work force housing is another slice of affordability
  • "the rent for an affordable apartment is not really affordable" #edc0113 need to keep terms separate in that 'affordable' is a state housing designation and not to be confused with what 'affordable' is when used an adjective that is relative to each individual circumstance
  • Consensus is to get the housing plan done, there are many problems and that may require multiple solutions to address. Need to define the problems (or problems), agree on terms to be used, and then continue the discussion. #edc0113 motion to adjourn, via roll call 4-0
  • That's all for tonight, been a long one. Time for a walk and fresh air. Catch you next time #edc0113 
EDC 'Listening Session' - Jan 13, 2021 - Recap - Franklin's housing discussion starts
EDC 'Listening Session' - Jan 13, 2021 - Recap - Franklin's housing discussion starts

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