Sunday, August 15, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Planning Board

The Planning Board, as established by MGL. Ch. 41 sec.70, is responsible for “…making plans for the development of the municipality, with special reference to proper housing of its inhabitants.” The Board is charged with administering the State’s Subdivision Control Law (MGL. 41 Ch.81K) and the local subdivision rules and regulations (Chapter 300). The Board makes recommendations to the Town Council on Zoning By- Law amendments and may at its own discretion adopt new subdivision regulations. The Board is also designated as the permitting authority for various site plan and special permit submittals under the Town’s Zoning Bylaw (Ch. 185). The Board receives recommendations from the Design Review Commission on building design, elevation, and signage for commercial site plan permits, and from the Conservation Commission on wetland related issues, and works closely with the Planning & Community Development and Public Works Departments.

In FY2020, the Planning Board reviewed and issued decisions for several projects throughout the year. Some of the major projects were located on Grove Street. At 186 Grove St, a new business re-located to the site. At 176 Grove St, the Planning Board approved a 150,000 sq/ft warehouse for product distribution. Also at 162 Grove St and 164 Grove, the Planning Board received applications for Retail Marijuana. A Marijuana Cultivation site was approved at 160 Grove Street. All sites included associated paved access drive, landscaping, lighting, utilities and stormwater infrastructure.

The Planning Board reviewed and approved a 35,000 sq/ft Marijuana Cultivation building at 105 Constitution Blvd for the use of growing and processing of non-medical marijuana.

The Planning Board received a submittal for a 59-single family subdivision located at the end of Bridle Path and Kimberlee Lane. There was also approved a large scale solar farm proposed off of Maple Street in Bellingham, next to MapleGate Country Club.

In March of 2020, we found ourselves with the a new challenge, COVID-19. The Planning Board delayed public hearings for 6 weeks, to allow time to prepare for the remote Public Hearings. Once the Planning Board began remote hearings, using a Zoom platform, the Board added several additional meetings dates to accommodate the applicants. The Planning Board has continued holding meetings remotely throughout this pandemic. The Planning Board accepted six (6) Form H - Certificate of Completions. Acceptance of a Form H indicates all work has been completed according to Site Plans or Subdivision Plans previously approved by the Planning Board. The Planning Board also received (10) ten Special Permit applications including Marijuana Cultivation, and Retail Marijuana, as well as several multi-family developments. 

The table below is a summary of Planning Board Activity during the 2020 Fiscal Year.


Preliminary Subdivisions

Total FY 2020


Definitive Subdivisions


Definitive Subdivision Modifications


81-P Plans (ANR)


Site Plans


Site Plan Modifications


Limited Site Plan


Limited Site Plan Modifications


Special Permits


Street Acceptance Recommendation


Certificate of Completion


Zoning Bylaw Amendments


Bond Releases


Scenic Road Permit




The Planning Board held public hearings on several proposed Zoning Bylaw changes including changing where solar farms can be built and updating the Water Resource map. The Planning Board has also reviewed and recommended several zoning map amendments. The Planning Board is currently reviewing zoning districts all over Town and cleaning up the zoning map, to ensure that parcels have one zoning district. The Board continues to help property owners make the desired changes and improvements to their properties while fostering responsible growth and development in the Town of Franklin.

The Planning Board typically meets twice a month on Mondays at 7:00 PM in the Municipal Building. All Board meetings are open to the public, and are televised via Community Cable Access.

Planning Board Membership

The Planning Board consists of five members and one associate member. The associate member participates in all hearings but only votes on Special Permits if one of the members is unable to act. The Board members are elected and serve 4-year terms. 

Below is a list of current Planning Board members:
Anthony Padula, Chairman
Joseph Halligan, Vice Chairman 
William David, Clerk
Gregory Rondeau 
Rick Power

Respectfully submitted, 
Anthony Padula, Chairman

Visit the Planning Board on the Town of Franklin page to find meeting agenda and other information

The full Annual Report can be found online:

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