Showing posts with label pond st. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pond st. Show all posts

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Recap: Town Council - on Maple Hill 'right of first refusal' recommendation is to purchase

Quick Summary:
  • Three options were outlined for the Maple Hill 'right of first refusal' Franklin has 120 days to make. The first option to use the proceeds from the Pond St sale (former sewer treatment plant) ($1.6M) and to use the Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds to finance the remaining $3M.
  • No decision was made at the Town Council meeting. The Town Council does have final approval but they can not make the unilateral decision. There are two more public hearings; the Finance Committee (6/16) and the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) (6/17). The CPC needs to make the formal recommendation to use the CPA funds for the Town Council to approve. Assuming the CPC does make the recommendation, the measure would come back to the Town Council likely at their July meeting for approval.

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  #schcom0309
Photos captured during the meeting, shared via Twitter can be found in one album

The proposal summary and details on the 'right of first refusal' can be found in this document

  • Getting ready for the Town Council meeting at 7 PM agenda doc has connection information #tc0609
  • In person meeting participation opens June 15, Zoom will be available as well as the live stream and cable broadcasts #tc0609
  • Justin Bates speaks to PFAS report from recent water quality report. While # within guidelines, it is concerning and should be investigated for further mitigation. #tc0609
  • Electric Youth in the Chambers for their 'almost' annual performance before heading off to Europe for their 2 week tour. #tc0609 (almost as the pandemic cut the trip last year)
  • Performing a capella #tc0609
  • Motion to approve minutes for Apr 7, passes 9-0; motion on mins for Apr 14, passes 9-0; for May 5, passes 9-0; motion for May 19, passes 9-0 #tc0609
  • Proclamation in recognition of FHS donation for veterans walkway bricks along with the pedestals for each of the 45 #tc0609 Proclamation in recognition of Mr Wright for his action during the fire at Franklin Crossing
  • Shifting order of action items to address license transactions before the public hearing. #tc0609 La Cantina proposal to combine their licenses. Really just a paperwork item per ABCC motion to approve, seconded, passes 9-0
  • La Cantina second transaction for the 19h, (first was 19c). Motion to approve, passes 9-0. #tc0609 Table & Vine change of Manager, etc. Motion to approve, seconded passes 9-0
  • Chapter 61 right of first refusal public hearing opens. First of 3 hearings on this matter, #tc9609
  • Presentation copy to be shared Thursday on town website. Meeting of the 3 hearings #tc0609
  • Town land in green Metacomet in yellow on this map #tc0609
  • Purchase proposal options #tc0609
  • Additional details on the finances #tc0609
  • Debt exclusion could be an option (like a school building) #tc0609
  • If right is refused, the project would continue with development of housing overtime per schedule shown #tc0609
  • Final slide on recommendation #tc0609 councilors asking clarification questions before getting to the public side of questions/comments. With this proposal CPC recommendation would be required to get TC approval
  • Interested in finding the $1.5m from Pond St sale where it was in the financial reports? May not have been in report due to whatever accounting may have applied. #tc0609 councilors generally speaking for the proposal option 1
  • Attny Doherty speaking first as he had registered to do so; for the proposal, good planning and good timing to do so. #tc0609
  • Negative comment about the Planning Board reflects a misunderstanding of their role in the process. They are restricted to address a proposal to fit within the bylaws. The Council is in a good position as they have some money to say yes. Hasn't always been the case #tc0609
  • Unfortunately the Council seems to be passing the buck to the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) which is by process; they (CPC) do need to make a recommendation for this proposal. The CPC is a new group but in my read of them are likely to recommend #tc0609
  • Residents all speaking for this proposal thus far; vernal pools a treasure, the open space has trails which has been used #tc0609 Public hearing closes EDC meets next week
  • Moving to legislation for action, capital plan second round #tc0609 FinCom voted to recommend, motion to approve, seconded, discussion on clarification of police station site analysis; passes 9-0
  • #tc0609 inter-municipal agreement to provide water supply for a single residence from Bellingham Motion to approve, second, passes 9-0
  • Gift for veterans services, for walkway bricks as noted by proclamation done earlier in meeting, motion, veterans officer D Kurtz provides details second, passes 9-0
  • PEG funds transfer from ToF to Franklin TV, as per quarterly procedure; motion to approve, second passes 9-0 Pellegri still wants lower rates for consumers (can't be done by local authorities)
  • Sewer bylaw for second reading #tc0609 motion to approve, second, passes 9-0 via roll call
  • Zoning bylaw definitions update for tasting room, motion to move to second reading, second, planning board recommends by a 4-1 vote; had been 25% per manufacturing alignment, passes 9-0
  • Saturday, 9-12 open house at water treatment plant, also will be a smaller version of a Touch the Truck expo at the same time. Tests for PFAS are mandated quarterly, does do required testing, not found an excess of levels. #tc0609
  • Req for SchComm to come and define the Davis Thayer timeline for town control per Pellegri. #tc0609 Kudos for farmers Market and new layout. EDC business listening sessions were good, thanks to Melanie for that. Exit #s now 41 and 43. EDC meeting 6/17 ArtWALK this weekend
  • Pellegri also adds historical museum is hosting musical performances on Saturday as well as part of ArtWALK. #tc0609 Jones will need to replace Anne Marie Tracey, DT hosting a gathering for the closing for families. Remember to block Church st for Memorial Day service
  • Motion to adjourn, passes 9-0 That's all for tonight, catch you next time!

Audio file to be available in couple of days 

Maple Hill 'right of first refusal' recommendation is to purchase
Maple Hill 'right of first refusal' recommendation is to purchase


Monday, March 4, 2019

On this date: Mar 4, 2009: Names change, topics remain the same

Stepping into the archives for March 4, 2009 also finds Franklin Matters reporting live from the Town Council meeting held that day. Only 9 years ago and yet given some of the longevity on the current Town Council, none of the names from 2009 are part of the Council today. 

Some of the topics however, remain the same. At this meeting the Council approved funds to survey the Pond St property. The former sewer beds that were eventually sold to a developer which is building 90+ units today.

An update from the Facilities Department was rescheduled as the Councilor who requested it missed the meeting. Capital appropriations for the purchase of a fire truck and a lawn mower were approved.

Creation of an economic opportunity area in Forge Park was also up for discussion.

Live reporting - Town Council 3/4/09

Attending: Whalen, Mason, Vallee, Bartlett, Feeley, Pfeffer, Doak
Missing: McGann, Zollo

Pond St property map  shown at the meeting
Pond St property map  shown at a Council meeting in 2016

Friday, March 1, 2019

Franklin Annual Report - 2018: Department of Planning & Community Development

The Department of Planning & Community Development (DPCD) maintains a professional staff that provides the Town of Franklin with a wide array of planning services. DPCD’s mission is to plan and implement comprehensive policies and initiatives that work to fulfill the land use-related goals of the people of Franklin. We make every effort to maintain the character of the community while enhancing its economic, cultural and social vitality.

The DPCD’s staffing reflects the diverse skills needed to complete the many activities and roles the Department participates. DPCD’s activities and services include, but are not limited to comprehensive planning, economic development, subdivision plan, site plan and conservation plan review, open space and wetlands preservation, historic preservation, zoning by-law and subdivision regulation development, downtown revitalization, brownfields redevelopment, affordable housing, public transportation, transit oriented development, and sustainable development including use of smart growth and low impact development concepts. The Department regularly identifies and sources funding for various community development projects and activities. DPCD balances its approach to these initiatives through long-term planning and public participation.

Support of Town Boards, Commissions and Committees
DPCD personnel provide staff support to several boards, commissions and committees, including the Planning Board, Conservation Commission, Design Review Commission, Technical Review Committee, and the Cultural District Committee.

Approximately 65 percent of the Department’s total staff hours are utilized on Planning Board and Conservation Commission related issues. In addition, DPCD staff occasionally provides professional technical assistance to other public entities including Town Council, Zoning Board of Appeals, Town Council’s Economic Development Sub-committee, and various ad hoc committees including the Town’s Master Plan Committee.

Site Permitting and Guidance
DPCD is not a permit granting authority; its function during the permitting process is to integrate laws, regulations and plans with the Town’s goals to ensure that the best interests of the Town and its residents are served. DPCD personnel organize and attend meetings, provide technical assistance, offer professional opinions, and guide developers, businesses and residents through the Town’s various permitting processes.

Conservation and Land Use
DPCD provides support to the Conservation Commission, as provided by MGL Chapter 131, Section 40. Conservation Staff, specifically the Town’s Conservation Agent, is responsible for speaking for the Conservation Commission when they are not present (see separate Conservation Commission Report). Although not a permit authority, the Conservation Agent does have limited police powers to regulate already approved Conservation Commission activities, stop unauthorized activities, and promote and protect the natural resources of Franklin and its wetlands, streams, brooks, ponds, lakes and watersheds. In addition, Conservation staff provides administrative support and reviews applications being presented to the Conservation Commission, as well as provides professional support to other Town Boards and Departments. During FY19 DPCD worked on various conservation and land use related projects.

Chapter 61 Properties.
During FY17 and FY18 DPCD staff, headed up by Conservation Agent George Russell, assessed privately-owned parcels within Franklin that are known as Chapter 61 parcels.
Chapters 61, 61A and 61B of Massachusetts General Law outline programs that require municipalities to reduce assessments of farm, forest and open space lands, provided the owners make a commitment to keep their lands in one or more of those uses. Should the owner of any of these parcels decide to remove them from their current tax status and offer them for sale, the town would have the right of first refusal. The parcels were evaluated in order to gain a greater understanding of which may be more prudent for the town to acquire, and to ensure that the Town gains the greatest benefit from its open space and recreation funds by objectively reviewing proposed land acquisition projects using established criteria.

Conservation Commission Managed Land.
During FY18, DPCD staff, again headed up by Conservation Agent George Russell, assessed the 125 Town-owned properties that are managed by the Conservation Commission. One result of the study was to identify parcels that could be utilized for passive recreation purposes, including the possibility of connecting Conservation properties with other public lands. DPCD continued to implement the Master Plan for the DelCarte Conservation area, including beginning the second year of pond treatments, and worked to procure the services of a contractor to construct ADA improvements to access the canoe launch. In addition, DPCD began the process of amending the Conservation Commission’s regulations and standard operating procedures to help streamline the approval process for "minor" projects.

Comprehensive Planning and Zoning
DPCD is responsible for traditional land-use related activities including updating the Town’s plans, and amending and creating zoning bylaws. A description of zoning and land use issues worked on by DPCD during the 2018 fiscal year is summarized below.

Zoning Bylaw Amendments.
During the 2018 fiscal year DPCD worked on amendment of several sections of Franklin’s Zoning Bylaw. Zoning Map Amendment 18-795 amended Franklin’s Zoning Map by changing the zoning district of two dozen parcels in area near Union, Cottage and Saxon Streets. The Zoning Map Amendment eliminated the Commercial II Zoning District from that section of Town. Zoning Bylaw Amendments 17-797 changed the setback requirements for accessory buildings and structures. DPCD is undergoing a project to better define the Town's zoning districts by following parcel lines. Where parcels are within two or more zoning districts the subject Zoning Map Amendment will move the
Zoning District line so each parcel is only in one zoning district, in most cases based on the current land use. DPCD will develop roughly a dozen Zoning Map Amendments to complete this project. The first three, Zoning Map Amendments 18-802, 18-803 and 18-804, were developed in the last quarter of FY18.

Planning and Implementation of Community Development and Economic Development Projects
Each year the DPCD works on many community and economic development initiatives. The Department develops strategies, proposes policies, bylaw changes and Town Council resolutions, manages projects, and seeks grants in efforts to balance Franklin’s community livability and its economic viability. DPCD encourages responsible community
development that meets the goals and objectives of the Town’s various planning documents, and the State’s Sustainable Development and Smart Growth Principles. Some of DPCD’s more important recently completed or ongoing projects and initiatives are summarized below.

Regional Planning. 
DPCD attends meetings and works on various regional planning issues with a variety of regional organizations, including Metropolitan Area Planning Council, the Southwest Advisory Planning Committee, I-495/MetroWest Corridor Partnership, and the I-95/495 South Regional Technology Economic Target Area’s Coordinating Council. In addition, the DPCD occasionally supports the initiatives of other regional organizations including the Franklin Bellingham Rail Trail Committee, Friends of the SNETT, the MetroWest Tourism and Visitors Bureau, and a workforce development advisory committee established by Employment and Training Resources in Framingham. DPCD also provides support for the Charles River Meadowlands, an effort among citizens and officials from the Towns of Bellingham, Medway and Franklin, to work together and to work with Federal and State officials, to improve management and access of the Federally-owned meadowlands, and adjacent public lands.

Downtown Revitalization. 
For more than fifteen years the Town has made revitalization of Downtown Franklin a major focus and has worked to improve the Downtown in a variety of ways. The revitalization of Downtown Franklin must be carefully planned to ensure that improvements positively impact the entire community. During the 2018 fiscal year DPCD continued to work on projects related to implementation of the Franklin Center Plan, which was developed in 2002 and 2003 to provide Town officials with a vision and basic strategy for revitalization of Downtown Franklin. 

One component of the Franklin Center Plan is Cultural Uses. The issue of Cultural Economic Development has been a focus for DPCD in recent years, including working with the MetroWest Tourism and Visitors Bureau on a variety of cultural economic development marketing activities. As part of these efforts DPCD provided assistance to the Franklin Cultural District Steering Committee, a group of individuals and organizations working to increase the number of art and culture related events in the area, create a State designated Franklin Cultural District in Franklin center. 

The Cultural District Steering Committee has accomplished much; this group of hard working arts and culture advocates has: assisted DPCD with the Cultural District application process including development of a strong cultural district Partnership; worked hard to support art and culture programing; and even organized the annual Franklin Cultural Festival. Lovers of the arts in Franklin owe them a great deal for their passion and hard work. During recent years DPCD prepared Cultural District marketing materials, coordinated efforts with local stakeholders, and performed outreach and educational activities, including setting up booths and displays at various events.

A cultural district is a specific geographical area that has a concentration of cultural facilities, activities, and assets. It needs to be walkable, easily accessible, easily identifiable to visitors and residents, and serve as a center for cultural, artistic and economic activity. The goals of a Cultural District, as defined by the legislative statute, are to encourage business and job development, attract artists and cultural enterprises, establish the district as a tourist destination, preserve and reuse historic buildings, enhance property values, and foster local cultural economic development.

In June 2017 Franklin Town Council passed two resolutions that accomplished the following: created the Cultural District Committee; formally expressed Franklin’s interest in establishing a state-designated cultural district; endorsed state-sponsored cultural district goals; and endorsed submission of a Cultural District application. During FY2018 the Cultural District Committee was formed. DPCD provides the Committee with administrative and Technical support; during June 2018 the Town submitted a Cultural District application to Massachusetts Cultural Council.

The Cultural District Committee’s responsibilities include applying for Cultural District designation, managing and marketing the District, assuring the Districts goals are obtained, and managing and strengthening the Town’s Cultural District Partnership.

Over the last few years a strong Partnership has formed in support of creating a state-designated cultural district in the Downtown area. The Cultural District Partnership includes many of Franklin’s well known organizations and businesses, including: Franklin’s School Department, Historic Commission, Public Library, Cultural Council, and Senior Center/COA; Franklin TV/Franklin Radio; Franklin Downtown Partnership; Dean College; Franklin Art Association; Franklin Performing Arts Company; the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse; and Franklin School for the Performing Arts.

Town Properties. 
DPCD regularly works with the Administration and other Town departments to assess and develop recommendations for Town-owned parcels of land, including Tax Title Properties and lands of low value. Each year recommendations are developed for a number of these properties, and the work is submitted to the Town Administrator and Town Council for consideration. DPCD works regularly on a wide range of economic development projects and programs, and is one of DPCD’s top priorities, second only to providing excellent administrative and technical assistance to the Town’s boards, commissions and committees. Potential benefits to the Town from successful implementation of DPCD’s business retainage and attraction initiatives are significant. Efforts focus on increasing the value of Franklin’s commercial and industrial tax base, filling the Town’s empty and underutilized industrially zoned buildings, and attracting the right mix of companies to the community.

As part of efforts to market the Town of Franklin, DPCD staff maintains a site selection web page -, and develops press releases, advertisements for industry periodicals, and economic development marketing brochures. DPCD regularly communicates with realtors, property owners and businesses to make them aware of State and Federal technical assistance programs and financial resources that can be made available to further their development, and to raise awareness of DPCD as a resource for local businesses. DPCD works regularly Massachusetts Office of Business Development, MassDevelopment and other agencies in efforts to attract the right mix of companies to Franklin’s industrial and commercial areas.

Redevelopment Projects. 
Redevelopment of Town owned properties is a regular DPCD activity. In recent years much progress has been made with three important Town-owned properties. Redevelopment of the former Municipal Building property at 150 Emmons Street was completed in FY17. The Town’s so-called Pond Street Property, former sewer beds, was sold to a developer in FY16, and construction of a condominium housing development is well on its way. 

The Town’s so-called “Nu-Style” Property on Grove Street, has been the subject of environmental assessment and remedial activities since 2006. The results of testing showed that to fully assess the property’s soil and groundwater contamination, a dilapidated former manufacturing building on site needs to be removed. During FY18 DPCD developed and the Town advertised a Request for Proposals, in attempt to find a company or individual to purchase, clean and redevelop the site. One proposal was received from an adjacent property owner, and the Town is working to execute a purchase and sale agreement.

DPCD will continue to undertake a wide range of community and economic development projects, programs, and planning initiatives that will keep the Town of Franklin’s goals and objectives current and representative of residents’ needs and desires. DPCD is proud of its accomplishments and welcomes public input on all of its efforts to improve the quality of life for the residents of Franklin.

Respectfully submitted,

Department of Planning & Community Development Staff.

You can read the full Annual Report for 2018 online

The archive of prior year annual reports

Franklin Annual Report - 2018: Department of Planning & Community Development
Franklin Annual Report - 2018: Department of Planning & Community Development

Monday, June 12, 2017

Pond St - 140 foot buffer or ??? (video)

I took a walk along the frontage of the former Franklin land on Pond St to record a video on Sunday, June 11. It was just after noon time and the traffic speed and noise adds to the video.

Trees are being cut as the land is prepared for construction. It looks like a new access road is being added to the property. This accounts for the most open section of the tree cutting.

You can see through to i495 and BJ's across the way from several points along Pond St.

What it will look like when finished remains to be seen. There are several threads of comments on Facebook about whether the developer is remaining within the 150' buffer the Town Council had agreed to with the neighbors.

Stay tuned for more on this as the story and details are revealed.

markings for what appears to be a new access road to the development
markings for what appears to be a new access road to the development

Monday, February 13, 2017

In the News: Pond St permitting underway; Joe Val Festival

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"The town has been moving forward in its permitting process of a proposed 96-unit condominium development on former town property on Pond Street. 
Bryan Taberner, the town's director of planning and community development, said the Planning Board held a public hearing on the matter at its Feb. 6 meeting. A Conservation Commission meeting had been scheduled on the project, but was canceled due to Thursday's snowstorm. 
Taberner said the commission might have voted on the project at that meeting, noting that it must give its approval before the Planning Board can take action. He said it was possible that the developer - Baystone Franklin, LLC - would be free to move forward on the project in the near future."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"The bluegrass music scene is alive and well in New England and the MetroWest area, thanks in part to one of the largest festivals in honor of one of the genre's pioneers. 
The 32nd Joe Val Festival, scheduled for Feb. 17-19 at the Framingham Sheraton, honors Joseph Valiante, an Everett native who helped bring the blend of folk, country, blues and jazz to the region. 

According to Gerry Katz of the Boston Bluegrass Union, the organization sponsoring the festival, there will be over 40 artists on two stages over the three-day festival, featuring "some of the top bands" in the genre. Including Jerry Douglas and the Earls of Leicester, named the International Bluegrass Music Association's Entertainer of the Year."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Joe Val Festival
Joe Val Festival
Visit the Festival webpage for additional info including tickets

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Franklin MA: Planning Board - Agenda - Jan 9, 2017

The agenda for the Planning Board meeting scheduled for Monday, Jan 9 2017 has been posted to the Town of Franklin webpage

I had missed that the development for the Pond St property was already in public hearing mode. The full agenda can be viewed here (PDF window)

or here

site of the former Franklin sewer works (photo from a walk in Sep 2015)
site of the former Franklin sewer works (photo from a walk in Sep 2015)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Pond St sold, lots of voting action, not all unanimous

The Town Council meeting on Wednesday, March 23 accomplished a number of items. All councilors were active for this meeting with Mercer participating via phone (which required all votes to be roll call). 

Pond St

  • After several tries over many years, the Pond St property was finally approved for sale. The developer can build up to condominium 99 units, 60 x 2 bedroom and 30 x 3 bedroom. This was part of the contention on the vote that resulted in 6-3 for. At least one councilor was against the sale period, the other two seemed to be more concerned about the mix of units looking for less 3 bedroom units which should bring in less children. Pfeffer, Jones and Mercer voted 'no'.

Intermunicipal Support Agreement

  • The Town Council approved setting up this agreement with the neighboring communities. This will further enable collaborative actions by the local police force when something occurs and the incident begins to cross the town boundaries. 

Zoning bylaw changes

  • Two bylaws were approved at their second reading. One to enforce the snow storm parking restrictions on public lots. One to enable the DPW to gain access to a residence to change the water meters.
  • The first reading on the bylaw to enforce alcohol training for all those who serve was also the subject of a contentious vote. The measure as discussed in the prior meeting was to have an effective date of 9/1/16 to allow for sufficient time to implement this without posing too much of a burden upon the establishments. Jones moved to amend to change the date to July 1. It was voted down 2-7. The bylaw was moved to second reading on a 9-0 vote.
  • One bylaw was referred to the Planning Board for their action before it could come back to the Council for a public hearing, two readings, and a final vote. This was to rezone some parcels along West Central St to residential. This was moved on a 8-0 vote (Bissanti abstaining).
  • Other recent bylaw changes also resulted in some relatively quick action to bring forward a proposal. No mention was made in this case as to who stands to benefit. It was not worthy that Councilor Bissanti recused himself from the discussion for this item.

Library temporary location announced

The other interesting update occurred during the Town Administrator's update when it was announced that the temporary location for the Library would be 25 Kenwood Circle. An agreement to obtain the space was to be signed on Thursday. The Library would close on Apr 8th to begin the move of the circulation items, books, etc. The Library would re-open in May and operate from this location until the construction/renovations completed some time in 2017.

Ben Franklin will still read outside the Library, but everyone else will need to get their books at a new location beginning in May, 2016 as the renovations close this building
Ben Franklin will still read outside the Library, but everyone else will need to get their books at a new location beginning in May, 2016 as the renovations close this building

The Town Council "actions taken" as published by Franklin:

Town Council meeting available for video replay

Franklin Matters live reported notes during the meeting:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

In the News: Pond St sold, finally; d'Entremont recognized as 'digital innovator'

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin

"The Town Council approved, by a six to three vote, the $1.56 million sale of a Pond Street property for a condominium development. 
The development would call for the construction of no more than 99 units on the 33-acre, town-owned property. Sixty-nine of those units would be two-bedroom, while the remaining 30 would have three bedrooms. 
Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting spoke about the features of the proposed development. 
"There would be a 150-foot wide buffer (between the development and Pond Street)," he said Wednesday. "There would be 17 acres of open space on the perimeter."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"A Horace Mann Middle School teacher has been named a "digital innovator" by PBS Learning Media for his use of technology in the classroom, the school announced this week. 
The designation allows seventh-grade social studies teacher James d'Entremont access to a year of professional development tools to further advance his ability to enhance student achievement through technology."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Twitter profile photo for Jim d'Entremont
Twitter profile photo for Jim d'Entremont

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda, March 23, 2016

Franklin continues to enhance the presentation of information associated with how they do business. The PDF document for the agenda has hyperlinks. Yes, sounds techy, geeky but it is a good step to providing the info right at your finger tips.

For example, in the Approval of minutes line item, there is a link that will take you to the document of the minutes for the meeting to be approved. In the appointments, the links for the HIstorical and Conservation Commission take you to the applications for the individuals involved. 

This was a little work on their part but should make it much easier for you to read and follow the agenda.

(Note, you can find this new format in the embedded PDF document below)

– February 24, 2016

 – This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and shown on Comcast channel 11 and Verizon channel 29. This meeting may also be recorded by others.


– Citizens are welcome to express their views for up to five
minutes on a matter that is not on the Agenda. The Council will not engage in a dialogue or
comment on a matter raised during Citizen Comments. The Town Council will give remarks
appropriate consideration and may ask the Town Administrator to review the matter.


  1. Historical Commission
  2. Conservation Commission






  1. Resolution 16-15: Authorization to Enter into Separate Intermunicipal Agreements Between Franklin and The Towns of Bellingham, Medway, Norfolk and Wrentham to Provide Public Safety Mutual Aid
  2. Resolution 16-16:Authorization For Disposition (Sale) of Town-Owned Land on Pond Street
  3. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 16-753: Zoning Map Changes From Single Family Residential IV to General Residential V in an Area on or Near West Central Street - Referral to Planning Board
  4. Bylaw Amendment 16-754: Chapter 47, Alcoholic Beverages - 1st Reading
  5. Bylaw Amendment 16-755: Chapter 179, Water Charges-Water Department Access – 2nd Reading
  6. Bylaw Amendment 16-756: Chapter 170 Vehicles and Traffic Article X Winter Storm Overnight Parking – 2nd Reading





Pending or threatened litigation

  1. Proposed Excelon expansion of Medway electric generating facility pending before Energy Facilities Siting Board.
  2. Proposed Spectra gas transmission line through Franklin.


old sewer treatment tank at Pond St
old sewer treatment tank at Pond St

You can also find the agenda documents on the Franklin webpage

Thursday, February 18, 2016

In the News: Pond St discussion proceeds, Medway warrant pending state's decision

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin

"Talks have begun regarding a possible condominium development on Pond Street, though the matter will not come before the Town Council again this month. 
Earlier this month, the council took a non-binding straw poll vote in favor of an 85-unit development on a town-owned, 33-acre property on the street. The proposal would have a developer purchase the land for about $1.65 million. The council decided to have town staff draft a formal resolution, which would be voted upon at a future meeting. 
Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting said that there had been some progress in talks with the developer. 
"We had an initial meeting just yesterday," he said Wednesday. "There will probably be a follow-up next week."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

An annual Town Meeting warrant article asking residents to approve a $75.2 million payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement with Exelon is currently a placeholder pending a state board’s decision on allowing the company’s proposed expansion to move forward, selectmen and town officials said Tuesday. 
Town Administrator Michael Boynton, while going over the May 9 special and annual Town Meeting warrants, suggested that if the article goes forward, it should be first. 
“It’s going to be the biggest discussion of the night,” he said.

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Alexis Frasca is recognized, the billboard proposal was a no-show, and Pond St generated a lot of feedback

The summary of the Town Council meeting of Wednesday, January 20.


The Town Council recognized Alexis Frasca recently selected as Miss Massachusetts Teen USA 2016. Alexis is a senior at FHS and captain of the cheerleading squad. She had just arrived from cheer practice to be recognized. Chair Matt Kelly read the proclamation.

Alexis Frasca listens to Chair Matt Kelly read the proclamation
Alexis Frasca listens to Chair Matt Kelly read the proclamation

Digital billboard

There was a brief discussion on the absence of those proposing a digital sign to be placed along i495. The presentation has been made to the Economic Development Committee meeting ans was scheduled to be picked up by the Town Council. Despite the no show, there will be a future meeting scheduled to review the proposal.

The proposal document as shared at the EDC meeting can be found here

Pond St

Much of the meeting centered on the discussion around the status and plans for the Pond St property. Jeff Nutting provided some background and an overview of the three options: (1) accept the current RFP response for some condos, (2) put a new RFP out for a hotel or ??? (3) do nothing.

Many of the community present for this discussion commented and or raised questions. The Town Council will take this information to a discussion at their next meeting to determine how they will proceed. The decision at that time will be around what resolution will need to be crafted for the official vote.
rendering of the condo current proposal
rendering of the condo current proposal

So while this will be resolved soon, the actual final decision could take time depending upon what the Council chooses to do. If they do nothing, that would be the quickest route to an ending. If they either accept the current RFP the discussion to fine tune the current proposal will commence. As Franklin owns the property, it can work with the purchaser to confirm the details (setbacks, access to MIne Brook, mix of 2 or 3 bedrooms, etc.) all the items as discussed, before getting an official deal which the Council would need to approve. Then the proposal would have to navigate the Planning Board and other zoning regulations before actually doing something.

If the Council chooses to go out for another RFP, we take several steps back in time to begin the process over again. Stay tuned.

The agenda and documents released for the meeting

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

In the News: Rep Roy office hours, FSPA auditions scheduled, Council to hear about Pond St, Jefferson School updates

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin

State Rep. Jeffrey N. Roy, D-Franklin, announced that constituent office hours will be held for the months of January and February on the following days: 
Jan. 29: 10-11 a.m., Elizabeth’s Bagels, 456 W. Central St., Franklin. 
Feb. 18: 8:30-9:30 a.m., Franklin Senior Center, 10 Daniel McCahill St., Franklin. 
Feb. 27: 9-10 a.m., Medway Muffin House, 116 Main St., Medway. 
Christopher Yancich, his legislative aide, will accompany him.

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Franklin School for the Performing Arts will host Massachusetts-area regional auditions for Broadway Artists Alliance of New York City on Jan. 24 at 38 Main St. 
A complimentary master class will take place from 10 to 11:15 a.m., followed by a dance audition from noon to 1 p.m. and individual appointments for songs and monologues from 1 to 3 p.m.

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The Town Council at its meeting this week will continue to discuss possible uses for a town-owned parcel on Pond Street - a topic that has some neighbors worried. 
The council has scheduled time during its Wednesday night meeting to consider the subject. 
For some time, the town has been looking for uses for the 33-acre plot, which abuts Interstate 495.

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All-school meetings, an outdoor learning space and a new approach to learning math are among the accomplishments at Jefferson Elementary School this year, according to an update from Principal Linda Ashley and Assistant Principal Sarah Klim. 
Ashley told the School Committee at a recent meeting one of the biggest developments is implementation of all-school meetings, in which all students attend a morning session about a particular topic.

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Looking back to January 2015

We had some snow in the later part of January 2015 and missed a couple of days of school in what became the 'endless' winter.

  • There was much to do about the conversations overheard with the microphones turned up at the Town Council meeting on January 7th. After all was said and done, there was no apology from the Councilors involved.

Jan 7th meeting here

  • The School Committee meeting on Jan 13th was a marked and positive difference. Two FHS seniors were recognized for being in the top of their class. Dillon Scarnicki had his teammates from the FHS hockey team support him for his participation in the Special Education presentation.

School Committee - Jan 13th

  • Pond St was rezoned, Emmons St was sold.

Town Council - Jan 21st meeting here

the snow did not keep Ben from reading
the snow did not keep Ben from reading

More photos from the walk  around Franklin on Saturday, Jan 24

Feel free to cruise through all the archives (176 posts) for January 2015

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Charles River Meadowlands - proposal

One of the documents handed out during the public meeting for the Open Space and Recreation Plan update held at the Franklin Library on Saturday, Nov 14.

This was the topic of Alan R Earls input. Alan is the former chair of the Franklin Open Space Committee.

Thanks to Alan for allowing this document to be shared.

When I walked the Pond St property in October, I was in and among some of the land he references with this proposal.

Mine Brook as it wends its way along the wetlands between i495 and Pond St
Mine Brook as it wends its way along the wetlands between i495 and Pond St
The full set of photos and the audio I recorded while on the walk can be found here