Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Planning Board - 12/17/12

What happened at the Planning Board meeting on Monday?

  • The proposal for the Stop & Shop gas station was continued to Jan 7, 2013 without discussion per request of the applicant.
  • The proposal for the Uncas Ave Extension was continued to Dec 2013 per request of the applicant.
  • The proposal for Franklin TV addressed some questions from the neighbors and the Board and will proceed with the next step in plan development to be reviewed at the Jan 7, 2013 meeting.
  • The proposal for Hoffman Farms addressed some questions from the Board and will proceed with the next step in plan development to be reviewed at the Jan 7, 2013 meeting.
  • The proposal for Robin's Nest is working through some communication issues, what is required of the applicant is apparently not fully understood and creating some problems with submission of the required forms and details.
  • Inspections this week for the new Taco Bell and 14 Grove St (liquor store) work scheduled and assuming the inspections are successful, occupancy permits will be granted.

The collection of real time reporting for the Planning Board meeting on Monday, Dec 17, 2012 can be found here:

Note: Real time reporting are posts created while watching the meeting live via the cable or internet feed as opposed to Live reporting when I am in the room when the meeting is being conducted.

"I think it's a matter of staying alert"

In the round up of areas schools on the first day back after the Newtown, CT tragedy, the Milford Daily News writes in part:
Franklin Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski said district administrators worked through the weekend on safety procedures. 
"Our target was to return to business as usual," she said. "We did not have any memorials or school-wide announcements about it." 
The district, Sabolinski said, regularly re-evaluates safety. 
"We work very closely with the Police Department - we met just a month ago to review protocol and do lockdown drills," she said. 
Sabolinski said school doors are always locked, and the schools have cameras. 
"We did have an additional police presence," she said. "We have resource officers, and requested additional officers to reassure the parents."

Read more: http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/x1107423287/Schools-evaluate-safety-after-Connecticut-shooting#ixzz2FOnscwEu

MassDOT Goal: Triple Bicycling, Transit, Walking

I was curious to see what the percentages worked out to be as the numbers shown in the table below were quite large. The percents don't really change a great deal.

            Biking %      Transit %       Walking %
2010       7.2%           87.9%            4.9%
2020       7.3%           87.8%            4.9%
2030       7.6%           87.5%            4.9%

Granted that even a tiny percentage change requires a change in habit, I was surprised to see that the program would NOT increase the overall amount of walking being done.

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Transportation by Klark Jessen on 12/17/12

Mode Shift Graphic
Secretary and CEO Richard Davey in October announced MassDOTs mode shift goal to triple the distance traveled by our customers through bicycling, transit and walking.  That goal now joins other goals incorporated into MassDOTs GreenDOT Implementation Plan with tasks and indicators.   

MassDOT established the goal to build a more efficient transportation system where fewer of our customers depend on driving alone to get where they are going.  We want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation system and support better public health outcomes by working to give our customers more healthy travel options.

MassDOT will measure our progress on this ambitious mode shift goal using Personal Miles Traveled-distances traveled by all our customers for bicycling, driving, transit and walking in a one year period.  It also measures all the trips taken by our customers, not just work trips which are often the focus in transportation planning.  Measuring the distance traveled by each mode allows MassDOT to see strategic opportunities to improve the travel options for our customers, strengthen the relationship between land use and transportation planning, and draw a link to greenhouse gas emissions.  Goal numbers are listed below.

Year                    Bicycling PMT    Transit PMT    Walking PMT    Total
2010 (baseline)         150.4m                1.83b                101.1m            2.08b
2020 (benchmark)    330.0m                3.99b                223.9m            4.55b
2030 (goal year)        516.m                 5.93b                333.6m            6.78b

Personal Miles Traveled as the goal measurement is effective and maximizes resources available to MassDOT by using data that is already collected from the Federal Highway Administration's Highway Performance Management System, Federal Transit Administration's National Transit Database, and an estimation of bicycling and walking using data from the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey. 
Check out MassDOT's GreenDOT web page for the Implementation Plan and more information.

Things you can do from here:

Franklin lab chemist indicted

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by Mike Gleason/Daily News staff on 12/17/12

686679 MA_Dookhanphoto.jpg
A Franklin woman accused of faking test results at the state police drug lab was indicted on 27 charges by a grand jury Monday, according to Attorney General Martha Coakley's office. Annie Dookhan, 35, a former chemist at the Hinton State Laboratory Institute, faces charges of perjury, falsely pretending to hold a degree from a college or university, 17 counts of obstruction of justice and eight counts of tampering with evidence. A spokesman with Coakley's office said the investigation is ongoing.

Things you can do from here:

Monday, December 17, 2012

Real time reporting: Planning Board to closing

Public hearing
Uncas Ave Extension
motion to continue until Dec 16, 2013, approved

Public hearing
650 Pleasant St - Robin's Nest Childcare

have a ZBA approval for the paving done currently
survey hired to confirm well positions vis a vis the neighbors
3 areas with dry wells, testing on two locations, engineer approved skipping the 3rd test given results of the first two, looking for confirmation of approval

difference of interpretation on Title 5 vs. local zoning

documents need to be provided a week before meeting so the documents can be reviewed in a timely manner and addressed before the meeting

question on landscaping, need a formal landscaping plan, not just a listing of two rows
need to define the plants with names and indicate location

need to apply for site plan review with the Design Review Committee

motion to continue to Jan 7th, 8:00 PM, approved

Public Hearing
Stop & Shop
continuation request to Jan 20, 8:00 PM, approved

5/21 meeting minutes, motion to approve, approved
6/11 meeting minutes, motion to approve, approved
6/25 meeting minutes, motion to approve, approved
7/09 meeting minutes, motion to approve, approved
10/15 meeting minutes, motion to approve, approved

motion to adjourn, approved

Real time reporting: Hoffman Farms

Public hearing
Hoffman Farms - Daniels St

proposing a gravel driveway in the sub-division
also a well would be place on the land to provide water for the farm cultivation

proposal to construct a house on Lot 1, and Lot 1 only
Lot 2, agricultural advantage for purchase and retaining the land as farm land, not to be developed in the future

discussion on the use of the gravel road for a farm or farm house no issue, if it were to be developed later, the gravel road is an issue, it could be mitigated with a condition

concern about the law point containing the water so that it would not drain to the nearby property

the use of this land for agriculture is a win for Franklin
private road covenant required from Town Council

approved to go forward and come back with a more detailed plan on Jan 7th, 7:45 PM

Real time reporting: Franklin TV

Public Hearing 
23 Hutchinson St (proposed Franklin TV location)

Use changes from retail to educational to do video and TV broadcast production

questions raised
on the request to reduce from 20 to 16 parking spaces (20 per zoning use required)
no site plan for dumpster (what is needed?)
what about drainage mitigation for the existing parking? (assuming there is guidance around the reduction asked (from 20-16) then, they would come back with a mitigation plan for the existing impervious surface)

Brief overview of the future plans for the studio, development from the Comcast studio, broadcasting this meeting and other events, the studio would allow for video production on site; 15 ft ceiling required for lighting the studio. Construction likely to begin summer/fall of 2013, shouldn't be long to put up

some clarification questions from a couple of neighbors on traffic (minimal), position of building (the addition will abid by the current zoning set back requirements), height of the building (less than 2 stories), potential noise (sound proofing for recording purposes), use technically as 'office' but designated as educational use, only this one use for the building
straw poll indicates approval of reduction in parking spaces with mitigation of storm water runoff

hearing continued to Jan 7th, 7:30 PM

3 minute recess

Real time reporting: Planning Board

General business

250 East Central St
question on enclosing steel around the dumpster, how is this updated to the 'as built' plans?
motion to accept certificate of completion, approved with one abstention

100 West Central St
Dean College looking for an extension to Jan 7
motion to accept, approved

3 Forge Parkway
landscaping items awaiting completion, need to wait until the spring time to complete
motion to accept with the punch list items so noted, i.e. partial completion; approved

14 Grove St
a number of items not completed and accurately shown
Don Nielsen updated on the safety improvements that were completed and updated with a revised Form H sent in today.
B Dahlstrom - there are timelines for form completion and submitting today does not allow proper time to complete the inspection
Proposed inspection on the 20th, motion to approve Form H dated Dec 20th (assuming inspection results are satisfactory; motion made and approved

438 West Central St
Taco Bell, Don Nielsen
items to be completed by Dec 17th were done with the exception of the light poles along the drive through, they were too tall and would not create enough safe space with the high voltage lines
Upon inspection, to confirm items completed (Dec 21), occupancy will be held; motion, approved

Franklin, MA: Planning Board - Agenda - Dec 17, 2012

The Planning Board has a full agenda on tap for Monday night. From the proposal for the Franklin TV studio on Hutchinson St, to the Stop & Shop gas station, there are quite a few proposal for review and discussion. The full agenda document can be viewed here:

You can also find the document on the Franklin web page here

Free holiday parking downtown

There is free parking (2 hour limit) downtown to help with your holiday shopping.

This was discussed at the recent Town Council meetings and quickly implemented (hence the plastic bags and writing in markers).

From the Nov 28th meeting

From the Dec 5th meeting

In the News: veterans, charities

Finding veterans to help can be tough

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Joint Statement on Franklin Schools opening Monday

To the Franklin Community,

In the midst of the overwhelming sadness brought on by the tragic incident in Newtown, CT public safety officials, school personnel and Town of Franklin officials are more committed than ever to the safety of all students, teachers, administrators, and support staff that occupy our schools and public facilities. All parents should feel secure and comfortable in the fact that the schools and public safety are vigilant in our pledge to prepare, train, and if necessary, carry out all functions necessary to counter any threat to the well- being of anyone associated with the schools in our community.

Each school has a comprehensive safety and emergency response plan that has been developed in collaboration with the Police Department, Fire Department, Facilities staff and the administration of the School Department. Our practice drills are monitored by the police and we continually refine our procedures based on the feedback we receive form our public safety officials. Our emergency plans are reviewed with all school personnel annually. In October, the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent met with Police officials to review our building based plans and to review current research on handling these violent situations. As part of our on- going collaboration we will review/revise our plans according to best practices. On November 15, the Franklin Police Department and the Office of the District Attorney sponsored a crisis drill at Franklin HS. Based on the training we are refining our procedures within the context of the most up to date research from national law enforcement leaders.

As school opens on Monday, each school leadership team developed a plan to address any issues that impact students as they arrive at school. We requested the police have a presence on each campus to assure students and parents that our commitment to a safe educational environment is a community priority. We encouraged our school administrators and teachers to engage in the typical day to day programs that have been scheduled and follow the normal routines. Using Open Circle, Middle School Advisory and our trained counseling professionals, we are able to support and meet the emotional needs of our children.

As we move forward we want to assure all parents and concerned residents of our combined dedication to providing an environment where all those at the schools feel protected and secure, where they know that school and public safety professionals are alert to possible threats, where they have confidence in public safety’s readiness for any incident that may threaten that security, and where there can be no doubt in our ability to engage in what we see as integral part of our duty to protect and serve. Please feel free to contact any or all of us if you have any questions or concerns.


Jeff Nutting                                      Stephan Semerjian
Town Administrator                         Chief, Franklin Police Department

Gary McCarraher                            Maureen Sabolinski
Chief, Franklin Fire Department       Superintendent of Schools

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - Dec 19, 2012

January 11, 2012 Budget Workshop

This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and shown on Comcast channel 11 and Verizon channel 29.

Citizenship Award – James E. Vallee



1. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 12-695:Changes to § 185-31. Site Plan and Design Review
2. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 12-696:Changes to § 185-20. H. Signs. Sign Approvals
3. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 12-697:Changes to § 185-45. N. Administration and Enforcement. Design Review Commission


Citizens Committee


1. Resolution 12-75-R: Town of Franklin Net Metering Power Purchase Agreement Authorization
2. Resolution 12-85: Appropriation - Technology-Consulting
3. Resolution 12-86: Appropriation - Health Insurance Payroll Withholdings Account
4. Resolution 12-87: Appropriation – Kensington Estates
5. Resolution 12-88: Acceptance of Gift - Recreation
6. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 12-695:Changes to § 185-31. Site Plan and Design
Review- 1st Reading
7. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 12-696:Changes to § 185-20. H. Signs. Sign Approvals-
1st Reading
8. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 12-697:Changes to § 185-45. N. Administration and
Enforcement. Design Review Commission- 1st Reading





Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required


The full agenda and associated documents as released for this meeting can be found here

"I think we need to be open with our children"

The Milford Daily News article with local reaction to the tragedy in Newtown, CT quotes from Chief Semerjian's letter.
Although many schools will likely look to tighten security, Franklin Police Chief Stephan H. Semerjian believes society needs a fundamental change. 
"The underlying issue as I see it is our society’s mental health," Semerjian wrote Friday in a letter to the community. "The inability of us as a people to help those in crisis before violence becomes the answer; before the anger boils over." 
Semerjian said he believes people need to act to stop cycles of family violence — something he said often leads to children learning responses of anger and violence. 
"We lose care and respect for one another and those closest to us," he said. "Moreover, we have no respect in ourselves or our lives and begin to believe that life is cheap, worth nothing."

Read more: Parents grapple to describe the unthinkable - Franklin, MA - Wicked Local Franklin http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/features/x719507046/Parents-grapple-to-describe-the-unthinkable#ixzz2FDdNupLV

The full text of Franklin Police Chief Semerjian's letter can be found here

"We don't know as much as we need to know"

The Milford Daily News has an article on the new electronic cigarette and how there is a gap in the coverage by local bylaws.
Jack Patel said he has been selling a lot of flavored electronic cigarettes at his shop, Cigars & More in Franklin. 
"I see a lot of people into this," Patel said. "They like it," he added. "It helps them to quit cigarettes and, plus, it’s cheaper than regular cigarettes." 
Kiklas said the number of users has shot up from 50,000 in 2008 to 3.5 million, and that number is expected to double by the end of next year. 
"I have heard projections that in five years, 20 percent of smokers in the U.S. will transition to our technology," he said. 
Unless prohibited by local law, people in Massachusetts are free to use the devices anywhere - and that can cause problems.

Read more: http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x719507194/Local-bylaws-cloud-future-use-of-electronic-cigarettes#ixzz2FDbS9Lwz

Where is Cigars & More?