This appendix contains "Examples of Implementing Actions" which correspond to specific goals and objectives found throughout the various Master Plan chapters. These examples of implementing actions are intended to convey the Citizens Action Planning Committee's view of how goals and objectives can be carried out.
Many of these examples of implementing actions need further review and revision by appropriate Town boards and committees prior to implementation - a process which is expected to be lengthy. For this reason, the CAPC recommended formal acceptance and adoption of the master plan, including its goals and objectives, but not these examples of implementing actions.
Click on the above Chapter Titles to see the corresponding examples.
Open Space and Recreation
Acquisition & Management Plan: Promote maintenance and use standards for Town-owned land, set usage goals for parcels with clear open space or recreational value, and strategically target parcels, portions of parcels, development rights, and easements for acquisition.
Classify all the land owned by the Town to one of the following:
Adopt a Use and Management Plan for each land classification to include the following:
Landowner Incentives: Create private landowner incentives for granting access to or through their lands to help the Town to create a network of trails and access routes linking open space and recreational parcels for the use and enjoyment of all residents.
Incentives for private landowners, both individual and developers, to encourage them to participate in a planned networking of trails and/or open space acquisition, as identified above, to include but not limited, to the following:
Standard Signage & Maps: Establish a standard signage system and map & guide book to identify access points to public lands.
Create and publish a map or a guide to recreation, conservation and open space land in Franklin, and make it available to the public;
Join with the local schools to create a partnership for the production and emplacement of the signs, as well as the clearing of the paths.
Transfer Fee: Seek state authority to adopt a real estate transfer fee to be applied to the amount over $100,000 of each real estate transfer to fund the development of land for recreation uses and the acquisition of open space, conservation land, land for public drinking water supplies, bicycling and walking trails, and recreational lands.
Recommend Town Council schedule a referendum on the question of establishing a real estate transfer fee and, if successful, file a petition with the General Court to allow the Town to assess a real estate transfer fee, under the following general guidelines:
Funds can only be expended for acquisition of open space or conservation land; trail easements; recreational land, public drinking water supplies or any related acquisition activity to include but not limited to appraisals, legal, survey and design costs.
Transfer of Development Rights: Amend the Zoning By-laws to allow densities-by-right to be transferred from undeveloped parcels to properties more suitable for development, thereby preserving undeveloped parcels in their natural or existing state.
Amended Zoning By-Laws to allow property owners to build on one parcel at a greater density by limiting development on another parcel elsewhere. The restricted parcel shall have a permanent deed restriction recorded against it, and the receiving parcel shall receive a special permit to develop at the new density
Density Bonuses: Amend zoning By-laws to allow density bonuses of ten percent (10%) additional lots upon petition showing compliance with design or planning goals to be set by the Town, for example, subdivisions which provide a large percentage of open space or make a number of units available through an affordable housing program.
Amend the Zoning By-Laws to permit up to 10% more lots than that allowed under the existing zoning, by Special Permit issued by the Planning Board, provided that the development plan indicates two or more of the following:
The proposed subdivision abuts an open space corridor overlay, or provides an alternative route which is acceptable to the Conservation Commission and the Planning Board;
At least 10% of the units proposed shall be an acceptable affordable housing program and maximize the set aside for Franklin residents;
Natural and Cultural Resources
Preservation Strategies: Inventory community resources for preservation or protection in order to retain the Town’s natural or cultural history or its New England town character; identify their locations, as well as threats and opportunities related to their preservation.
Utilizing the historical records of the Town, the Town Library, Dean College Library, and the Town Historical Society, create a full inventory and map of the following, at a minimum:
Preservation Districts: Amend the Zoning By-laws to authorize the designation of overlay preservation districts, including historic districts, to protect recognized community attributes and to preserve architectural integrity within a designated district.
Adopt a local, less restrictive version of MGL.c.40C., Historic Districts, for the minimal area starting at the Town Common and running from Union Street along Pleasant Street to Hillside and then south to School Street, west to Main Street, north to High Street, west to Union Street and again north to its originating point (the area to include properties on both sides of the boundary streets, as well as all properties on streets within the bounded area), to include the following issues:
Streetscapes & Scenic Views: Identify scenic vistas and streetscapes contributing to Franklin residents’ sense of place; identify threats and opportunities related to their preservation and propose measures to effect preservation, including acquisition of easements and adoption of a scenic roads bylaw.
Identify, inventory and map certain streetscapes and scenic vistas based on view potential, access and likelihood of development, within the following criteria:
Adopt the provisions of MGL, c. 40 15C, Scenic Roads By-law, which require a public hearing before the removal of trees or stonewalls from designated roads.
The Citizens Action Planning Committee (CAPC) developed a set of town-wide re-zoning examples to illustrate possible avenues to implement land use objectives. These examples were not themselves proposed or considered at the time of Master Plan adoption. Many of the proposals, in fact, were rejected by the Planning Board in their final adoption of the Master Plan. The effect of the recommended zoning changes would be to accomplish the following:
More accurately reflect the amount of land actually available for industrial development by rezoning existing industrially-zoned land not developable for industrial uses;
Increase the supply of appropriately-located industrial land available to meet the employment needs of residents;
Increase the value of commercial and industrial land uses at buildout to approximately 25% of the total tax valuation base;
Reduce traffic congestion in the center of town by reserving land on the south side of Interstate 495 interchange 16 for commercial uses to serve residents and employees in the southern part of town; and
Commercial and Industrial Rezonings: Amend the Zoning By-Law in anticipation of market demands for commercial and industrial sites to position the Town for further economic growth.
Rezone area on West Central Street (Route 140) from Rural Residential 1 to Industrial - approximately 43 acres.
Rezone middle area of Grove Street on west side, from Rural Residential 1 to Industrial - approximately 104 acres.
Rezone land adjacent to Franklin Industrial Park southerly toward Wrentham from Rural Residential 1 to Industrial - approximately 195 acres.
Expand commercial zones at intersection of King Street and East Central Street (Route 140) and deepen along East Central Street.
Note: The following two figures have been excerpted from the text of the Land Use Section and an additional column has been added to reflect the potential impacts of contemplated zoning changes. The additional column is labeled "2005 Re-Zoned".
Reduce Residential Buildout: Adopt strategies having the effect of reducing the overall number of residential units expected at buildout.
Since it may not always be feasible to acquire land in order to reduce overall residential buildout, zoning changes should also be considered. Specifically, areas of town predominantly in forest and farmland, including Chapter 61 and 61A land, should be rezoned to a new Agricultural/Residential zone with less residential density. Land currently in recreation use, including Chapter 61B land, should be rezoned to a new Recreational/Residential zone, with a primary use of recreation and a secondary use of zone with less residential density.
Require that a minimum, standard lot configuration (Build Factor) be applied to all new lots, with different requirements for conventional and open space subdivisions.
Elderly Housing As A Permitted Use: Amend the zoning bylaws to allow "assisted living" and other elderly housing facilities in residential and commercial zones.
Amend the zoning By-Laws to provide an Overlay District permitting development, by right, of "assisted living" facilities with specific performance standards, including but not limited to: facilities of 50-100 units if freestanding or up to 150 units if part of a larger congregate living elderly development, density not to exceed 12-18 units per acre; increased allowances for lot coverage and floor area ratios; required screening/landscaping; connection to town water and sewer; direct access onto a collector road.
Housing Densities: Amend the zoning bylaws to allow greater densities for housing reserved for elderly residents.
Amend the zoning By-Laws to allow "adult housing - age restricted" subdivisions, by right, with densities up to 150% of current zoning and, by special permit, to go up to as much as 200% of current zoning.
Town Land: Utilize Town-owned land as sites for elderly housing.
Select 2-3 town-owned sites suitable for development of scattered site elderly housing in partnership with local developers; declare these sites to be surplus property available for disposition with covenants requiring their development for elderly housing and issue a request for proposals.
Subdivision Roads: Revise the Zoning By-laws and Subdivision Rules and Regulations to promote subdivision designs which de-emphasize the "boulevard, straight-away appearance" of subdivision roads and emphasize lower speed road designs, the integration of treescapes with pedestrian walkways and bikeways, gateway entrances, and offstreet play areas.
Revise the Subdivision Rules and Regulations to change the following:
Reduce the volume of cut and fill of proposed ways, to ensure that the roadway maintains a nearly natural topographic condition with minimal shoulder disturbance and tree.
Limit the number of trees to be cut both within the right-of-way and within the first 15 feet of a lot, excepting driveways, to maintain the natural appearance of the area.
Minimize the visual intrusion of housing and driveways on lots abutting an existing public way, by requiring all such lots to enter and exit onto the proposed way and to maintain a buffer of trees along the public way.
Require road layouts to follow, where practicable, the natural terrain and topography of the site, allowing road gradients up to 10% in order to reduce disturbance of the shoulders and abutting lots.
Require build factors in subdivisions, with a stricter standards for conventional versus open space development.
Reduce paving requirements to range from 20 feet to 28 feet, and increase sidewalk requirements to 5 feet to discourage cars from parking regularly on streets.
Reduce the centerline radii to a maximum of 150 feet to create tighter curves and necessitate slower traffic.
Do not permit lot clearing, and grubbing except in proposed rights-of-way, including sidewalks and bike paths.
New England Village Design: Revise the Zoning By-laws and Subdivision Rules and Regulations to (1) reduce front and side setback requirements in subdivisions using a New England Village design concept, (2) allow reduced width subdivision roads when providing access by rear drives, parking areas, and garages, and (3) encourage designs which include common green space within or adjacent to the streetscape.
Infrastructure & Facilities
Capital Planning Process: Identify and prioritize all of the Town's capital improvement requirements and capital funding opportunities for a minimum of six years; annually budget capital projects consistent with this plan.
Organize a standing committee with the responsibility of projecting the Town's future facility needs for all Town Departments for programming in the Capital Improvements Plan.
Revise the town’s Capital Improvement Plan to extract and report on items related specifically to the implementation of the master plan.
Studies and Reports: Change the capital improvement process to budget annually for phased studies and reports on project feasibility, site evaluation, concept plans, designs and cost estimates for construction and operation for major capital projects scheduled within a three year window.
Identify the resources required for site evaluation, concept plans, design and construction of the new fire sub-station.
Identify the resources required for site evaluation, concept plans, design and construction of the next school building.
Resource Allocation: Commit sufficient Town and regional resources to properly plan, maintain, rehabilitate and expand the Town's infrastructure and facilities to satisfy the demands of the Town in future.
Utilize and further develop the town’s Geographic Information System in planning the town’s infrastructure.
Road and Sidewalk Management: Maintain an accurate and complete inventory of roads and sidewalks in Town and condition of pavement to support the road rehabilitation program.
Ensure that all roads and sidewalks in Franklin and their status are kept current in the Massachusetts Highway Department Inventory of Roads and the Town's pavement management system-
Include sidewalk and drainage improvements in all road rehabilitation projects to increase pedestrian safety and extend pavement life.
Water System: As required, update the Water Distribution Study and use it to plan the expansion and improvement of the Town's water system.
Update the Water Distribution Study and expand it to include all aspects of the Town's water system and keep it current to support Franklin’s Master Plan and Capital improvements Plans.
Continue to rehabilitate and replace aging components of the water system as the opportunities present themselves.
Ensure that water rates continue to generate sufficient income to pay for operating and capital improvement expenses.
Sewer System: Complete the on-going sewer system master plan, update it as necessary and use it for planning the expansion and improvement of the Town's sewer system
Complete the Sewer System Master Plan and keep it current to support Franklin's Master Plan and Capital Improvements Plans.
Continue to rehabilitate and replace aging components of, improve efficiency and effectiveness of and extend the sewer system as the opportunities present themselves.
Work with Charles River Pollution Control District to ensure that the capacity exists at their plant to handle Franklin's current and future sewage treatment requirements.
Increase sewer rates to ensure that they generate sufficient income to pay for operating and capital improvement expenses.
Growth Management: Manage growth in a way that ensures that infrastructure service demands remain within Town and regional infrastructure capabilities.
Adopt a By-law which establishes the requirement that all new subdivisions have ready access to a water supply for fire suppression, establishes standards for alternative systems as well as procedures to run water mains for offsite connections to the municipal water system, and addresses the funding of offsite improvements.
Utilize the provisions of the subdivision rules & regulations requiring a community impact analysis to collect updated information on current conditions and projected demands on the town’s infrastructure and facilities.
Identify improvements which can be undertaken by developers to make sufficient infrastructure and facilities available to permit approval of developments.
Cost and Revenue Allocation: Allocate the costs of maintaining and expanding the Town's infrastructure and facilities to the appropriate users of the systems.
Revise the towns user fee allocation model to incorporate all related capital improvements.
Interchange Development Plans: Create Exit 16 and Exit 17 Interchange Development Plans to shape future development and reuse proposals to encourage uses which do not over burden the flow through these interchanges and represent Franklin well as gateway entry points.
Develop separate Interchange Development Plans for I-495 Exits 16 and 17. Each Interchange Development Plan would:
Identify and map development scenarios and their traffic generation potentials for all undeveloped and under-developed properties in the study area.
Identify zoning issues, development constraints, and opportunities to influence the character of development, including development activity at interchanges to the north and south of Franklin.
Identify streetscape options and propose improvements to integrate signage, landscaping and buffer areas, including "Welcome to Franklin" gateway structures.
Utilize Concentrated Development Center status to schedule infrastructure improvements within each study area.
Office and Manufacturing Jobs: Support office and manufacturing job development and training activities to extend the range of employment options available to community members.
Through the Industrial Development Commission, the United Chamber of Commerce and the proposed Educational Opportunities Commission (see Natural and Cultural Resources chapter), promote jobs development and training opportunities for Franklin residents by:
Attracting financing to expand Franklin corporations and recruit new office and manufacturing employers.
Contributing to the development of a regional economic development strategy and compact organizing public-private sector initiatives to attract investments into the region and to relocate professional jobs from employment centers to which Franklin residents historically have commuted.
Actively supporting job skills training initiatives and business development programs within the region, including initiatives through Dean College, Franklin Public Schools, and TriCounty Regional Vocational and Technical School.
Economic Growth: Sustain economic growth by rezoning additional lands for future industrial and commercial growth.
Prepare a comprehensive zoning map amendment to extend industrial and commercial zones west from Forge Park, east from Franklin Industrial Park, south from Exit 16 of I-495, and south from Grove Street (as more specifically shown and described in the Land Use chapter); include such zoning district expansions in the Town’s infrastructure planning.
Route 140 Corridor Plan: Create a Route 140 Corridor Development Plan to establish expansion limits and streetscape design standards, including signage, landscaping, and parking standards.
Describes and maps current boundaries, landscaping, signage, parking, and usage patterns both inside and outside the Corridor.
Recommends measures to create transition area boundaries and expansion limits to contain sprawl and buffer residential areas from commercial uses, including the use of professional office zones as proposed in the Land Use chapter.
Recommends design standards integrating landscaping, buffer areas, and signage to improve the Corridor’s streetscape.
Downtown: Retain core services in the Downtown, including governmental, financial and post office services.
Convene a Downtown property owners group to discuss their views of improvement needs and their long range plans for maintaining a presence in the Downtown. Develop proposals appropriate to the objective of maintaining core governmental, financial and post office services.
Redevelopment: Promote the redevelopment of underutilized or abandoned old mill or factory buildings.
In cooperation with affected property owners, secure grant funds to complete a study of the revitalization potential of underutilized or abandoned old mill or factory buildings off Fisher, Union, Cottage, Dean, Grove, and West Central Streets, including examining:
Potentials for conversion to residential uses, mixed commercial and residential uses, or higher commercial or industrial uses.
Transit Parking: Create additional parking facilities to serve the downtown, commuter rail stations, and any other transit/service center hub developed in the future, particularly consider the construction of a parking garage in the downtown.
The Town should identify options, select desired options and prepare plans to create additional parking for the Downtown, commuter rail stations, and future transit/service center hubs. Continue to pursue the construction of a parking garage in the vicinity of the MBTA and municipal parking lots.
Bicycle Lanes: Mark bicycle lanes and provide bicycle stands at major points of destination.
The Director of Public Works should ensure that shoulders of a minimum width of .75 meters be included in all roadway designs to accommodate bicycle travel outside of vehicular travel lanes.
Pedestrian And Bicycle Links: Develop pedestrian and bicycle path links outside of roadway alignments to provide "shortcut" access to high demand areas.
The Town should develop a bicycle and walkway overlay to establish a proposed layout for connecting neighborhoods, open space and recreation areas outside of roadways. Require subdivision and site plans to include sidewalk and bicycle path connections to existing or proposed sidewalks and bicycle paths on abutting property not proposed to be connected by roadways.
Safety Improvements: Construct sidewalks, traffic islands for channelization, and road grade & width improvements to improve safety and reduce accident potential, while maintaining the "character of a New England town" and its visually pleasing road layouts.
Apply federal and state safety standards tempered by the desire to retain tree lined roadways and rural character to road reconstruction projects.
Provide affected residents with more of a role in the road re-design process, including review of streetscape design options.
Future Roads: Lay out and preserve corridors for future roads to provide better linkage and flow.
Develop an overlay identifying layouts for new Town roads and necessary roadway connections and take action to acquire the appropriate right-of-ways. Review existing right-of-way layouts to identify roadways which should be proposed for connection to adjacent roads.
Subdivision Connections: Connect proposed subdivision roads with existing subdivision roads to facilitate the delivery of services, traffic circulation, and emergency response time.
Continue to require new subdivisions to provide connections to abutting parcels or connect to existing roadways.
Sidewalk System: Establish a program for annually extending the sidewalk system.
Establish an objective and appropriate the necessary funding for the specific length of new sidewalk to be constructed each year along existing Town roads.
Grove Street: Reconstruct Grove Street to arterial road standards to provide relief to the 140 corridor.
Take the actions necessary to have Grove Street added to the Transportation Improvement Program(TIP).
Prior to total reconstruction, widen travel lanes at intersections with Forge Hill, Beaver, Prime Park, and Kenwood Circle to allow marking of left turn lanes.
Intersection Improvements: Provide turning and longer stacking lanes at the intersection of collector roads.
Identify intersections where service levels are at levels "E" or "F".
Ensure that adequate turning lanes are incorporated in road reconstruction projects at intersections identified with service levels at levels "E" or "F".
When required, initiate reconstruction projects to add or extend turning lanes at intersections where service levels are at level "F" and are considered dangerous.
[Service levels run from "A" to "F", with "F" being the worst, and "A" the best.]
Alternate Circulation Options: Promote alternate circulation options, including the use of bike paths & sidewalks.
Using the bicycle and walkway overlay, identify areas where bike paths, sidewalks and paths are needed and require them to be included in subdivision and site plans and recreation and open space development plans.
Shuttle System: Promote the formation of a shuttle system to move commuter rail passengers to and from commuter rail stations to places of employment.
Organize a group of Franklin employers to establish a shuttle system for transportation to and from the commuter rail stations.