The Framingham Planning Board is a regulatory land use reviewing agent.
- In accordance with M.G.L c. 41, the Planning Board shall be responsible for, but not limited to:
- Preparation, adoption, amendments, and the implementation of a Master Plan for the City of Framingham under M.G.L. c. 41, Section 81D.
- Preparation of an official Zoning Map under M.G.L c. 41, Section 81E.
- Draft and submittal of zoning amendments for consideration by the City Council (M.G.L. c. 40A, Section 5).
- Adoption, administration, and amendments of the Rules & Regulations Governing the Subdivision of Land in Framingham (M.G.L c. 41, Section 81K).
- Special Permit Granting Authority, when applicable.
- Site Plan Review approval, when applicable.
- Administer Public Way Access Ordinance, when applicable.
- Recommend designation of scenic roads and hold public hearings on requests regarding the Scenic Roads Act.
- Acts as an adviser on other municipal land use regulations.
- Land use and development reviewing and planning body.
- Review Site Plan Review, Special Permit, Approval Not Required (ANR), Preliminary Subdivision, Definitive Subdivision, Scenic Roadway Modification, Public Way Access Permit applications that have been submitted for review by a landowner or developer
- Maintain, review, update the Master Land Use Plan, Subdivision Rules & Regulations, and Zoning By-Laws, in addition to other land use plans
- Develop planning studies related to land use, transportation, housing, and economic development
- Work as a team to meet the goals of a Plan-Build-Grow Model of Development
- Although there is no one specific set of skills required for members of the Planning Board, those seeking membership should possess a diverse background that demonstrates experience in land use activities in addition to at a minimum, basic knowledge of zoning by-laws and land use policies and the application thereof.
- The current, 2017-2018 Planning Board’s members all have a unique skill set that includes the following:
- Christine Long: Currently capital improvement coordinator for a local housing authority. Former small business owner of a construction company
- Lewis Colten: Active practicing architect and former building commissioner
- Victor Ortiz: Former zoning enforcement officer for a local non-profit
- Thomas Mahoney: Active professional engineer licensed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, currently working for MassDOT
- Vacant Member: Stephanie Mercandetti was a Director of Economic Development for a local municipality
- General Information that members of the Planning Board need to be versed in, include:
- Working knowledge of Massachusetts General Law (M.G.L.)
- Understanding of construction, engineering, architecture, zoning, permitting, and/or land use policies
- Members should be invested in the development and redevelopment of Framingham to ensure proper growth occurs by employing best practices in land use policies and zoning ordinances, provide a variety of housing options, work collaboratively with landowners and business owners on land use proposals and applications, while maintaining a balance that provides for preservation of open space and recreational opportunities.
- Weekly meetings are typical for the Planning Board. Currently meetings are held every Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. For the most part the Planning Board only needs to meet three times a month.
- When zoning by-laws are proposed, the Planning Board may meet twice a week at times during the public hearing process to accommodate the existing work load of applications. All meeting are scheduled based on member’s availability, if additional meetings are required.
- The Planning Board adopted the Mullin Rule (M.G.L. c. 39, Section 23D) to allow members to miss one meeting per hearing during the review of a project, if needed. If a member is to use the Mullin Rule, then the member is required to file applicable documentation with the City Clerk after reviewing the materials for the missed meeting.