OPINION: "Friendly" 40B Will Hurt Town Finances, Worsen Traffic


Above, a plot plan for the proposed development on East Central Street, the present location of Stobbart's nursery.

A Letter to the Editor:

Last Wednesday, June 5 ,the prevailing Franklin Town Councilors ran the Good Ship of Franklin Aground with its vote for 254 apartments in 4-5 story buildings on East Central St. This project comes under a new "Friendly 40 B" program that is not a mandatory need as regular 40B is. Franklin is above 10% of its housing stock as it is 11.4%.

Approximately 8-10 weeks ago the first Council Hearing on this project was held. Two hearings are needed before it heads off to the Franklin ZBA for final approval. The project consists of 1, 2, and 3 Bedroom Apartments . Serious questions were asked about building height, and severe traffic congestion the project can bring. Traffic today backs up to Jordan Road for those travelling westbound on the single lane East Central St. This project would certainly back up traffic beyond the Franklin Country Club in Wrentham. Pedestrian Signals would add to the delays in getting thru the area.

The next question raised was how many new school children would be added due to the 3 Bedroom count, and the proponent stated we would have to pay for 40-50 new students in the Franklin system. At the 2022 Per Pupil Expenditure we taxpayers pay $17,651.38 PER STUDENT,  incremental annual increases are about 4%. The town would pay $800,000 for 45 Students. This sum completely wipes out the property tax revenues for the project on an annual basis based on present assessments of the large project on Dean Ave. This development would be fiscally negative for Franklin.

Reasonable traffic flows would be further impeded due to increased traffic and pedestrian traffic signal use. East Central would be similar to Rt 109 in Medfield and Westwood. Getting thru will not be easy from East to West Central.

A positive solution to this project would be and should be 55 and Older 2 Bedroom Condos with 25% of them Affordable under State Guidelines. 150-175 2 Story 2 Bedroom condos would have hardly any school children and the Town would receive PURE TAX REVENUE to be used against our annual budget. Lord knows many Councilors are calling out for Affordable Ownership.. recently one was highlighted front and center in the Boston Globe.

Our quality of life would be retained with 2 Story Units versus 4 and 5story structures. I urge the prevailing side of this vote to revisit it and follow the Franklin Planning Board's 2 No Votes and send the developer back to the drawing board or find a developer that will give Franklin what it needs to retain the Quality of Life here and I urge our Councilors to get our Good Ship off the Rocks and give us what All the Franklin Citizens who spoke at the meeting want.

I have heard there is a large number of Franklin Residents that will file an Appeal of the Franklin ZBA's positive vote on this project!

Very Truly Yours

Joel D'Errico


former 10-Year Town Councillor (1990s)

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