Planning Board

The Framingham Planning Board is a regulatory land use reviewing agent.

Board/Commission Duties

  • 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 and 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 the 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.
    • The full description is available here

Membership Responsibilities

  • 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 and 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

Member Skillset

  • 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.

Meeting Information

Meeting dates/occurrence:

  • Weekly meetings are typical for the Planning Board. Currently, meetings are held every Thursday evening at 7 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 workload of applications. All meetings are scheduled based on the members' 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.

Members of the Planning Board

Term Expiration
Christine Long Chair June 2020
Lewis Colten Vice-Chair June 2019
Victor Ortiz Clerk June 2019
Shannon Fitzpatrick Member June 2021
Joseph Norton Member June 2021