Thursday, March 16, 2023

Town Council whiffs on an easy layup to bring "Affordable" housing to Franklin (Video)

The Franklin, MA Town Council whiffs on an easy layup to bring more housing and "Affordable" housing to Franklin. At the Council meeting on Wednesday, March 15, the Council voted 4-5 to support a "friendly 40b" proposal. The proposal needed 6 votes to pass, it was 4 yes (Frongillo, Sheridan, Hamblen, Mercer) and 5 No (Cormier-Leger, Chandler, Pellegri, Jones, Dellorco).

Why did they blow this 'easy layup'? Ask them to explain, the short summary I have is they misunderstand

1 - the 'friendly 40b' process - one claimed to have been lied to when this vote was their one chance to have a say in the matter and what they said was "we don't want to work with developers to bring in affordable housing"
2 - they denied the opportunity to continue to work with the developer to iron out some of the issues as it went through the process. Now they have conceded all the issues to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Yes, the ZBA always had the final say, the Council never would, but this was their one chance and they failed
3 - the property has been turning in approx. $13K revenue to the Town, the proposal would have generated about $800K. Yes, a $790K increase in revenue for a vote (and they failed)
4 - the property is zoned industrial and given the topology (a bunch of wetlands, which are still being worked out with the Conservation Commission) wouldn't not actually be used for industrial development. Or it would have in the years prior. Here was a residential use that would increase revenues without additionally burdening services and they failed to pass it
5 - there is a big difference between "Affordable" (note Capital "A") defined at Federal and State levels and what is actually "affordable" (lowercase "a") . Locally we have no control over that. We do need housing, we do need "Affordable" units and while this would have brought "Affordable" units, the council failed

Video link -

Details on the proposal from the agenda are found here:

b. Discussion & Project Presentation: 121 Grove Street, a “Friendly 40B” - Fairfield
i. Legislation for Action #9a
2. Proposed 121 Grove Street Application  ( 

My notes on the full meeting are in one PDF file. The audio and full recap will be available after I calm down 

No comments:

Post a Comment