The Town’s residents and elected and appointed officials have firsthand knowledge of Town housing needs, problems and opportunities that need to be addressed; this collective knowledge is necessary to ensure all issues are addressed, and any recommendations related to affordable housing goals or strategies are feasible and will draw sufficient support to warrant a reasonable chance for implementation. Per DHCD’s Guidelines, a HPP should be developed “with opportunities for community residents to become informed of the planning process and the plan, and to provide input”. Therefore, input from Town officials and the general public is an essential feature of the process of preparing this Plan.
This HPP was not developed during a normal 6 to 12 month plan development / public participation process. Originally intending to complete an update to the HPP during 2018, the DPCD began work in March 2017, engaging with the Town Administrator’s office and the Municipal Affordable Housing Trust. At that time the Town was under 10% SHI and development of the Town’s HPP was focused on developing goals and strategies that would result in the community reaching the 10% Statutory Minimum.
In April 2017 the Department of Planning and Community Development held an informational session on developing the housing production plan. Several elected Boards, including the Town Council and Planning Board were present at the workshop. There were several discussions on controlled growth within the Town of Franklin. The workshop provided information on the existing affordable units in town and conversation was had on the housing needs of the Town as it compares to the existing affordable housing. As a result of input received, DPCD began a review of the existing zoning by-laws, and drafting of proposed zoning changes, including development of an inclusionary zoning bylaw.
After several months of work on the HPP update, the Town was informed it was over the 10% Statutory Minimum with the addition of the Glen Meadows apartment complex (288 housing units) to Franklin’s SHI. The Town’s SHI Inventory is included in this document as Attachment D. Given the Town of Franklin’s 40B affordable housing production requirements had changed significantly and was considered to be in compliance with Chapter 40B, DPCD’s priorities also changed and work on the Plan’s development was suspended until 2020. The proposed HPP update was no longer required, but it also would require a different focus if it were to be created.
Over the last few years the Town’s Administration and Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) have attended public meetings asking for input on specific housing related issues; this input has been critical in developing draft strategies related to affordable housing production. Public input on Franklin’s housing needs was obtained at several public meetings, including the following:
January 2018 Meeting, Municipal Affordable Housing Trust. DPCD attended meeting to accomplish the following: provide a Housing Production Assessment presentation, to update MAHT on the substantial increase in housing production during recent years; discuss the Town’s SHI and how it related to recent housing production; discuss the HPP update, and present three proposed general HPP goals; and request input on proposed HPP goals. Given that the Town was over 10% SHI, the main Goal of the proposed HPP would be to keep Town over 10%. Additional issues were discussed including the need for workforce housing and potential zoning changes.
October 22, 2019, Economic Development Visioning Event held by MAPC and DPCD. Input received from event and three additional workshops was used to develop a Market Analysis and Market Position Summary for Downtown Franklin and two of Franklin’s other older commercial districts. During the event Franklin residents provided a substantial amount of input on Franklin’s economic development issues, including the need for workforce housing. In addition to the community engagement portion of the economic development project, MAPC performed a residential analysis of the study area.
January 13, 2020 Meeting, Municipal Affordable Housing Trust. DPCD presented a summary of recent work on the HPP update, and requested the MAHT hold a public meeting and invite the public to discuss affordable housing needs, and to provide input on draft goals and strategies.
April 27, 2020 Meeting, Franklin Town Council Economic Development Committee. DPCD provided a presentation that included a proposed Inclusionary Zoning Bylaw, and a summary on the HPP update. Input was provided by EDC members and others in attendance on both issues.
June 10, 2020 Meeting, Franklin Town Council Economic Development Committee. Meeting focused on a follow-up on the Inclusionary Zoning Bylaw proposal and similar issues, including use of incentives to increase number of units on Franklin’s SHI; possible housing TIF (tax increment financing) agreements to create middle (moderate) income type developments; consider 40R smart growth zoning districts; change Zoning Bylaw’s housing density allowed in certain districts and allow some multifamily housing by right; and use a mix of mandatory and incentive based Inclusionary zoning approaches. Input on these and other issues was requested.
December 14, 2020 Meeting, Municipal Affordable Housing Trust. DPCD attended meeting to discuss the following: provide update on HPP development; request input on draft goals and strategies; and ask for MAHT participation in upcoming EDC meeting.
January 13, 2021 Meeting, Franklin Town Council Economic Development Committee. DPCD provided a presentation on the following: Housing Development Update (Town added 1,283 over 10 years); and draft HPP goals and potential strategies that would result in increase of SHI housing units. The DPCD Housing Development Update is included in this document as Attachment E. DPCD requested EDC members and others in attendance provide DPCD with input on housing development and affordable housing issues to be included in HPP update.
March 15, 2021 Meeting (remote), Town Administration and DPCD, and Old Colony Habitat for Humanity. Meeting with Old Colony Habitat for Humanity’s new CEO about working together to create affordable housing units within Franklin.
The input from the above sources has been used to produce this “public draft“ HPP, which has been distributed to Franklin’s Town Council, Planning Board, Franklin Public Library, Housing Authority, Municipal Affordable Housing Trust, Community Preservation Committee, Franklin Commission on Persons with Disabilities, and Council on Aging. Notification of the Draft HPP has also been sent to a variety of organizations including MAPC, Metacomet Land Trust, Franklin Downtown Partnership, and Old Colony Habitat for Humanity.
Hard copies of the public draft HPP are available at the Department of Planning and Community Development’s (DPCD) office during normal business hours. Given the current pandemic individuals wishing to review the Draft HPP should contact the DPCD at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-520- 4907 to arrange an appointment.
The Town will accept input on the Draft HPP, and housing issues in general, from anyone interested in providing comments during a formal Public Comment Period which begins on May 12, 2021 and ends on June 4, 2021. Input will be received over the Town website, by email or letter. In addition, the Town will hold a Public Hearing to present the highlights of the Draft HPP, and provide time for residents to ask questions and provide input.
Feedback from the general public and Town officials is a critical component of this planning process. The Town will develop a complete list of all comments received during the Public Comment Period. Once the public comment period is over, all input received will be considered and a Final HPP will be developed.
Once the HPP is updated to its final form, the document will be presented to the Planning Board and Town Council for review, consideration and formal adoption. Once formally adopted by both elected bodies, the HPP will be submitted to the DHCD for approval.
|Plan Development and Public Participation|