Planning Board

The Planning Board is an elected board with five members, each with a four year term and one appointed associate member. The Planning Board’s primary responsibilities are to administer the Zoning Act (40A) and the Subdivision Control Law and to issue certain special permits and site plan approvals under the Town of Franklin Zoning By-Laws. The Planning Board also considers and prepares amendments to the Town of Franklin Zoning By-laws and the Town of Franklin Subdivision Regulations, and is charged with adopting reasonable rules and regulations relative to subdivision control.

Useful Links

  • Town of Franklin Planning Board

Key Terms

  • Chapter 40A is the state law that applies to all MA cities and towns except for Boston and creates a framework for local zoning regulations. The law establishes standardized procedures for a local community’s adoption and administration of municipal zoning bylaws and ordinances. The Planning Board is responsible for making sure all approvals comply with Chapter 40A.

  • Subdivision Control Law: State law that regulates how streets are designed and constructed when land is subdivided into multiple parcels. The law requires Planning Boards to ensure that there is adequate access to all lots and the roads are safe to travel, lessening congestion in adjacent public ways, and sanitary conditions of lots.

How is it important to the town?

The Planning Board has the ability to propose amendments to the Zoning By-Laws in Franklin, which could mean more or less development. The Town Council eventually votes on the Planning Board’s recommendations, but any reform to the Zoning By-laws begins with the Planning Board.