[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Franklin 7-8-1998 by Bylaw Amendment 98-367; amended in its entirety 8-13-2003 by Bylaw Amendment 03-523. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter provides for the review of public way access permit applications to protect the public safety and the Town of Franklin infrastructure. These regulations apply to public way access permit applications for:
Any new access to a Town of Franklin public way.
Any physical modification to an existing access to a public way if it alters the physical or traffic operational features of the access; or
The use of a new or existing access to serve the building or expansion of a facility that generates a substantial increase in or impact on traffic from properties that abut the public way, where such traffic increase or impact is presumed whenever the following use thresholds are met or exceeded:
Residential, including hotels, motels, lodging houses and dormitories with an increased occupancy of more than 25 persons.
Nonresidential: 250 trips per day as defined in the ITE Trip Generation Manual, latest edition.
Nonresidential: 25 new parking spaces.
Nonresidential: 5,000 new square feet.
The Town Administrator or his designee shall be responsible for the issuance and/or denial of public way access permits. A permit applicant shall request issuance of a permit on a standard form, supplied by the Department of Public Works. A permit application shall be deemed complete only after the following items have been submitted:
Standard application form.
Evidence of compliance with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) by the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs of the Commonwealth, if necessary.
Engineering plans showing the proposed work, including the limits of disturbance within the right-of-way.
The Town Council, by regulation, may adopt a schedule of reasonable fees to accompany said application.
Where an application is deemed complete, the Town Administrator or his designee shall render a decision within the following timetable, by filing same with the Town Clerk:
The Town may retain a qualified technical expert to assist in its assessment of the traffic impacts of the proposal. The fee for such expert shall be paid by the applicant prior to the issuance, if any, of the public way access permit.
Where work requiring a public way access permit is subject to site plan review by the Planning Board pursuant to § 185-31 of the Zoning Bylaw, the Town Administrator or his designee shall coordinate its review hereunder with the Planning Board, to the extent feasible.
Where the Town Administrator or his designee denies or imposes conditions upon the issuance of a permit, the applicant may request before the Town Council, a public hearing, in accordance with the procedures set forth in MGL c. 40A, § 11.
The Town Administrator or his designee may deny the issuance of a public way access permit due to the failure of the applicant to provide sufficient improvements to facilitate safe and efficient highway operations, or when the construction and use of the access applied for would create a condition that is unsafe or endangers the public safety and welfare. Where the Town Administrator or his designee denies said application, specific findings for the denial shall be included in the written decision.
The Town Administrator or his designee may, in the alternative, condition an access permit to facilitate safe and efficient traffic operations, to mitigate traffic impacts and to avoid or minimize environmental damage during the construction period and throughout the term of the permit. Such conditions may include, but not be limited to:
Necessary limitations on turning movements;
Restrictions on the number of access points to serve the parcel;
Vehicle trip reduction techniques;
Necessary and reasonable efforts to maintain existing levels of service;
Design and construction of necessary public way improvements by the permittee; and
Reimbursement by the permittee of costs of Town inspection of public way improvement work.
Where site of access standards do not allow the proposed access to meet these standards, the Town Administrator or his designee may vary application of the design standards on a case-by-case basis, upon the finding that:
For either a private applicant or a governmental entity, where there are no reasonable available alternatives which would allow access in compliance with these standards. In this case, the applicant must commit to provide measures to mitigate impacts to traffic and operational safety, which the Town Administrator or his designee determines are necessary; or
As an alternative procedure for a governmental entity only, the variance is necessary to accommodate an overriding municipal, regional or state public interest, including the avoidance or minimization of environmental impacts.
Construction under the terms of a public way access permit shall be completed within one year of the date of issue, unless otherwise stated in the permit. The Town Administrator or his designee may extend the permit for an additional year, or for a longer term, at the written request of the permittee, filed prior to the expiration of the original construction period.
The Town Administrator or his designee may suspend or revoke a public way access permit if the applicant has not complied with the terms and conditions of the permit.
The Town Administrator or his designee may issue written orders to enforce the provisions of this chapter.