Friday, February 5, 2021

Economic Development Subcommittee - meeting recap - 02/03/2021

Quick Recap:
  • Very enlightening listening session this time. Good info gleaned from participants all around. Food trucks are not inanimate objects, they have people and families to support behind them
  • Where did the 25% requirement for tasting space come from; the manufacturing bylaw allows 25% for a manufacturer to have that amount of space for a retail operation
  • Tasting rooms as designed in the bylaw are shifting to be more than that per some of the participants; what should they have, how should they be operated, how can the service be 'safe'....
  • Food requirement for tasting makes sense but then brings complications, patio space outside counted against space requirements, which then drive capacity and parking; need to be careful of making changes without considering other effects especially unintended ones
  • the food truck experience is not the same as a table service, should not be considered competitive, they are distinctly different
  • No pun intended but there is plenty of food for thought here, more to come as the info is reviewed and solution or options designed for next discussion (TBD)
Photos captured during the meeting and shared via Twitter can be found in one album


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  #edc0203

  • Real time reporting underway for the Economic Development subcommittee meeting #edc0203
  • Chair Hamblen takes role call of members as she is remote (Bissanti, Jones, and Frongillo in Chambers) #edc0203 discussion to begin on bylaw of section 19 license. Agenda doc includes some historical reference points
  • TA Hellen provides some of the history/background on the development of the proposal. #edc0203 recall beer garden at ArtWeek event in 2019, wanted to do more, COVID most recently has presented challenges
  • Three businesses open and others in queue to do so. Use this as a listening session, open to business comment. Bob Vozella, La Cantina Winery, thanks for enabling the business, expanding the option for food trucks outside of the Town Common area would be beneficial #edc0203
  • Do provide small plates and would like to provide more for the customers, do have menus and service in from the neighborhood restaurants. #edc0203 food trucks would provide another option.
  • Yes it was said: "There is an appetite for food trucks to coexist with small businesses in Franklin". #edc0203 how much of difference does it make between a permanent restaurant or a temporary food truck as competition for town business?
  • Food truck owner comments that she has worked for 10 years between Worcester and Boston and it is sad that she can't work in her home (Franklin) #edc0203 it doesn't just help Olivier sell their beer, it helps beyond that. Compliments the drink establishments.
  • Food trucks are not inanimate objects, they also represent the business and the family behind it. The Bubbleman pivoted to do a hotdog truck in addition to bubbles, and can't work here. Board of Health won't allow this as a 'zoning issue' #edc0203 even in a private party
  • Issue with bylaw as written forces larger facilities to generate enough money, corridor counts as part of the taproom. Could exclude it with a door, really. Consider patio or outdoor space as separate? #edc0203 burden placed on business re: rent and SQ footage larger than could
  • Patrick D "The regs are driving residents to eat out at Patriot Place instead of downtown Franklin" Bissanti - "We don't want to hurt the existing businesses with food trucks" #edc0203
  • T Padula reminds that the tasting rooms are expanding beyond what they were supposed to be, they should taste and leave; they are staying longer and competing with restaurants. #edc0203 Patrick D, Glen Pharma 25% on tasting room, not sure how derived, arbitrary #
  • Burden on space, parking, safety, all make sense, but where the 25% comes from doesn't make sense. Owner has responsibly to manage the crowd. #edc0203 did look at food truck angle and ended up with a restaurant; food trucks are here to stay, folks want them
  • "A food truck is not table experience, it is different." Olivier - 67 Degrees, grateful for bylaw to allow us to operate. 25% requirements hinders us operationally. Talked with Canton (Trillium, etc) parking/bathrooms required, but not limitation on tasting room size #edc0203
  • #edc0203 25% clashes with other zoning requirements, needed to get 2 special permits to expand within 6 months of operation and do the same thing. A food truck at 67 should not affect other restaurants, especially in COVID times, would help now and long term
  • Halligan, #edc0203 25% was designed for sample and short term visit to leave with product, it is growing into more than tasting, functions, entertainment, families, dogs, etc. Proposing larger footage if kitchen present, increases parking, drainage, etc. raises other issues
  • Not an easy solution, where to go next. Need to close out discussion tonight and continue next time. #edc0203 "folks already eat out elsewhere, so improving options here will help not hurt" - Frongillo Manufacturing is only allowed 25% for retail, hence the derivation
  • More to come, stay tuned, work to be done. Motion to adjourn, seconded, passes via roll call 4-0 #edc0203 


Economic Development Subcommittee - meeting recap - 02/03/2021
Economic Development Subcommittee - meeting recap - 02/03/2021


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