Monday, January 27, 2014

Downtown Zoning Workshop Agenda

Downtown Zoning Workshop
Wednesday, January 29th at 7:00 pm
Town Hall training room

The following will be discussed:

A. Zoning Changes as Recommended in 2013 Master Plan Implementation Plan
1. Proposed Zoning Map Changes
Alpine Row
  • Rezone properties along Alpine ROW currently zoned Commercial I to the Downtown Commercial Zoning District.
  • Rezone properties currently zoned Commercial I along Alpine ROW to the General Residential V Zoning District
Josephine Street
  • Rezone properties along Josephine Street currently zoned Industrial to General Residential V.
Cottage Street/Union Street Area
  • Rezone properties along Cottage Street and Union Street currently zoned Industrial and Business to Commercial I and or Commercial II.
West Central Street, East of Beaver Street
  • Rezone properties along the south side of West Central Street from Beaver Street east (approximately .15 miles) to General Residential V.
2. Other Proposed Zoning Changes
Commercial I Zoning District
  • Amend the dimensional requirements for Commercial I in the Town’s Zoning By-laws Schedule of Lot, Area, Frontage, Yard and Height Requirements
  • Amend the Town’s Zoning Bylaw to require sufficient parking in the Commercial I zoning district.
B. Areas for Discussion requested by Economic Development Committee
1. Increase areas for Multi-family Housing
2. Increase areas for Commercial/ Business Development

Networking Luncheon

Please join us!

FDP Networking Luncheon
Friday, January 31 at 1:00 p.m.
Dean College Dining Hall

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Emmons Street Public Meeting Cancelled Due To Weather

The public meeting about the Emmons Street property scheduled for tonight, January 21, has been cancelled due to the snow storm. The meeting will be rescheduled at a later date. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Please Attend the January 21st Meeting

Dear FDP Members:

Please attend the town meeting on Tuesday, January 21st at 7:00 pm at town hall.

So many of you have great ideas for the downtown Emmons Street property.  Please come and be part of the discussions!

See details below:

Food Elves' '12 Days of Donating' Totals Press Release

The Franklin Food Elves’ 2013 “12 Days of Donating” campaign exceeded goals on all fronts, collecting more than 3 tons of goods and $6,700 to benefit the Franklin Food Pantry well into the new year.

The 75 Food Elves, together with Franklin Downtown Partnership businesses, collected 7,357 pounds of non-perishable goods and $6,700 in the food drive last December. That is a significant increase over 2012 when 50 Elves collected just over 4,200 pounds of goods and $5,700.

“Thanks to the Food Elves’ hard work and commitment, the donations have helped fill our shelves, allowing us to continue serving local families,” says Linda Sottile, director of operations for the Franklin Food Pantry. “It is amazing how this effort has grown thanks to Melissa and Cameron Piana and the many, many elves who have joined in over the years. It is heartwarming to see so many youth of Franklin getting involved.”

“According to the 2013 Status Report on Hunger in Massachusetts recently released by Project Bread, there are 700,000 households in our state for whom having enough to eat is a struggle,” says Erin Lynch, director of development for the Food Pantry. “This impacts us locally, yet many still don’t realize the magnitude of the issue.

“The ‘12 Days of Donating’ generates community awareness that will have a significant positive impact long after the holidays are over,” Lynch continues.  “We are so grateful to the Food Elves for their record-breaking success and for rallying such tremendous support. To each and every person who contributed we thank you on behalf of more than 600 families we serve.”

Food Elves co-founder Cameron Piana is proud of the hard work of the Elves, who went door to door in neighborhoods to collect food and other necessities. 

“Students like to get involved in community service projects that are fun but also have a big impact,” says Piana. “This group has definitely made an impact and we are really happy that we beat our goal by more than a ton this year.”

Local businesses were deeply involved in the campaign. DCU donated $3,000 and once again Berry Insurance donated $1,000. Eight local FDP member businesses placed a donation bin at their location and each pledged $200 if the Elves hit their goal. Those businesses were DCU, Dean Bank, Dean College, Emma’s Quilt Cupboard, Franklin Downtown Partnership, Jane’s Frames, Murphy Business and Pour Richard’s Wine & Spirits.

Support snowballed to include companies and organizations outside of Franklin who donated goods and dollars upon hearing about the campaign.

“It’s gratifying to see the community response to this effort,” says Nicole Fortier, Downtown Partnership president. “We want to thank everyone involved for going above and beyond and supporting this campaign.”

For more information about the Franklin Food Elves campaign please contact the Franklin Downtown Partnership at  For more information about the Franklin Food Pantry please call (508) 528-3115 or go to their website,

Pictured left to right, front row: Nicole Fortier, Dean Bank and Downtown Partnership; Erin Lynch, Franklin Food Pantry; Linda Sottile, Franklin Food Pantry; Beth MacBrian, DCU.  Second row:  Kevin Goffe, Dean Bank; Ann Williams, Pour Richard's Wine & Spirits; Cameron Piana, Food Elves Co-founder; Haley Frank, Food Elves Captain; Dave Drucker, Dean College; Jane Curran, Jane's Frames.  Third row:  Cam Strouse, Emily Shea, Karen Cunningham, Evan Strouse, Carter Castillo. 

Seven of the 75 Food Elves, left to right:  Karen Cunningham, Emily Shea, Haley Frank, Evan Strouse, Cameron Piana, Carter Castillo and Cam Strouse.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Daily News Coverage of 1/9 General Meeting Discussion

Matt Tota of the Milford Daily News attended Thursday's FDP General Meeting and covered the discussion of the Emmons Street property discussion for the paper. Here's Matt's story:

Franklin businesses offer ideas for former town hall

By Matt Tota
Daily News Staff 

Posted Jan. 10, 2014 @ 6:16 am    
FRANKLIN — An entertainment club, a quaint hotel, a lush park — when it comes to the question of how to develop the former Town Hall on Emmons Street, the downtown business community has more than a few suggestions. 
Nearly 40 business leaders crowded into a conference room at Dean College Thursday morning to shop ideas for the property’s future. 
The hour-long session, part of the Franklin Downtown Partnership’s monthly meeting, illuminated two potential scenarios for the town: sell or lease the building for commercial use or turn the entire property into green space for the public. 
The Town Council will have the final say on what becomes of the roughly 15,000-square-foot building, which still houses the Recreation Department, and less than 1-acre piece of land at 150 Emmons St. But councilors have said they’ll value outside input. 
"The council wants to know what residents, business owners and community leaders want to see down there," said partnership executive director Lisa Piana, introducing those unaware of the Emmons Street debate to an issue that will figure as one of the council’s more important decisions of the new year. "Our hope is to have everyone think about the pros and cons of what goes there." 
Attendees reached an early consensus: The town should market the property to small businesses rather than the corporate brands that tend to bring with them traffic issues. 
Soon after, the ideas came with haste, as Jane Curran, owner of Jane’s Frames on East Central Street, scribbled them down on large pieces of poster paper taped to a white board. 
One is to build a park on the property with seating and tables for people to lunch or take a break from shopping. Some of the local restaurants might even take advantage of the outdoor area to sell their fare. 
Another option calls for transforming the space into an entertainment venue of some kind, be it an outdoor stage or a performing arts club. The plan was more appealing than reserving the building for retail and office space, because it could have more of an effect on foot traffic in the downtown. 
Sue Brown, director of sales for the Hampton Inn on Union Street, said one of the problems is that the draws seen in other communities are absent from the downtown. 
"Remember, you have three hotels in this town that host almost 300-plus people a night who’re looking for something to do," Brown said. "They have free time and are asking, ‘Where do I go from here?’ Right now, we’re sending them to the outlets, we’re sending them to Patriot Place. But wouldn’t it be nice to be able to send all those people here, have them spend their money within our town?" 
Other suggestions for the property included seeking a developer interested in building a small hotel — in the style of a bed and breakfast — or commissioning a "welcome center" that would hold some municipal offices. 
Piana will present the partnership’s ideas on Jan. 21 at the council’s own brainstorming meeting, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 355 East Central St. 
Matt Tota can be reached at 508-634-7521 or 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Town Meeting January 21 at 7 p.m.

Thanks to everyone who attended this morning's General Meeting and took part in discussion about the Emmons Street Property. If you have more ideas please email us at

The Emmon's Street property will be the subject of a Town Meeting on Tuesday, January 21, at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will take place in the Town Hall Training Room.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

January General Meeting Agenda -- Please Join Us

Franklin Downtown Partnership General Meeting Agenda
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Dean College Campus Center, 8:30 a.m.
Golder Room

I.          Open Meeting

II.         Adoption of Agenda

III.        Introductions

IV.       Town Update -- Bryan Taberner

V.         Report from Executive Director
             a.  Parking Update
             b.  Emmons Street Property -- Town Meeting, January 21
             c.  Idea Discussions

VI.        Networking Luncheon -- Joel Carrara

VII.       Beautification Clean-Up Committee:  Lisa Piana, Jim Schultz
             a.  Committee Volunteer Sign-Ups

VIII.     New Business

IX.       Adjourn

Fire at Guru Restaurant Saturday

From the Milford Daily News:

Firefighters were called to a Franklin restaurant Saturday afternoon after grease in a deep fryer ignited, causing some smoke damage to the building.

At almost 3 p.m., the automatic fire alarm at Guru Restaurant, located at 30 Main St., alerted firefighters to the scene, said Fire Chief Gary McCarraher in a statement.

The fire had extended from the deep fryer into the ceiling and roof of the kitchen, gutting the kitchen and causing “moderate” smoke damage to both the dining area on the first floor and the businesses located on the second floor.

The restaurant was not open at the time of the fire, but employees who were present were able to get out of the building safely, said McCarraher.
No injuries were reported, and the fire appears to be accidental, he said.

The two-alarm fire took about 45 minutes to extinguish and mutual aid on scene came from Norfolk, Bellingham, Milford and Wrentham; Medway units covered Franklin’s stations during the fire.