Note: FY 2021 is last year (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021). The report was prepared to cover the business for the FY 2021 period. This year’s report FY 2022 (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022) is in preparation now and is normally available for distribution at the polls for the November election.
The Design Review Commission (DRC) was established in 1998 when the Town Council adopted a new Zoning Bylaw that established a sitting Design Review Commission. The 1997 Master Plan recommended that Franklin should adopt design standards to re-establish a sense of traditional New England villages. The design standards would assist in shaping the community as a whole, as well as establish a commercial appeal of individual establishments and businesses.
The Commission is responsible to interpret the design guidelines to establish a sense of character in commercial and industrial areas and in sign installations so as to enhance the appearance of the Town while ensuring compliance with Town codes and bylaws. The DRC has approval authority on signage and recommendation input to the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals on Site Plans for landscaping and lighting, and Building Plans for exterior design, colors and materials.
The DRC is composed of 5 regular members and 2 alternate members. All members are residents and volunteers who are appointed by the Town Administrator and ratified by the Town Council. The Commission is currently composed of James Bartro, Chairman; Samuel Williams, Vice Chair; Mark Fitzgerald, Venkata KP Sompally, Gerald Wood, and Chris Baryluk, Associate.
During FY 2021, the commission processed a total of 45 DRC Applications. There were 39 Sign approval applications and 6 Site Plan approval applications. Reviews included projects such as the condominiums in the greater downtown area and the new commercial re- development of sites formerly used for manufacturing.
Due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 virus over the past year, Design Review meetings are being conducted remotely via the Zoom platform. In an effort to ensure citizen engagement and comply with open meeting law regulations, citizens are able to dial into the meeting using the provided phone number (Cell phone or landline required) or participate by a link embedded in the Agenda for Meetings.
Meetings are held at 7:00 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays each month, with the exception of December when it normally holds one meeting. Meeting times, dates and agendas are posted on the DRC page: https://www.franklinma.gov/design-review-commission.
James Bartro, Chairman
The full Annual Report for 2021 can be found
The collection of Annual Reports can be found online