Mar 272020
 

Braintree Planning Commission Meeting of 25 March 2020

 

Attending: Jenn Phipps, Paul Kendall, Jackson Evans, Malcolm Fitzpatrick, Joan Richmond-Hall

 

Convened at 7:02 pm by phone conference in light of the COVID-19 pandemic

 

Malcolm felt that there were a number of issues that needed to be addressed in the Town Plan but were missing in this draft.

  • Groundwater and aquifer maps should be included. If this information isn’t available, then we should make plans to get it.
  • Braintree needs plans to develop a more resilient back roads system that is more resistant to weather and allows emergency vehicle access across town even in mud season.
  • Braintree’s higher ground, for example along the top of Braintree Hill, doesn’t have fire-fighting ponds. We should consider locating water tanks on the higher ground.
    > Malcolm will contact Mike Hildenbrand, chief of Randolph’s Fire Department to get his feedback.
  • Roadside shade trees should be maintained and thinned. This would require landowner’s permission and that of the tree warden but should be done.
  • Flooding is a major issue. We should get ahead of the State’s coming stormwater regulations and require residential construction to assess groundwater runoff and mitigation.

> Joan will ask TRORC what they are planning to do about upcoming stormwater rules.

 

Jackson likes the new, concise format. He’ll send granular edits to Paul K.

  • Chapter 1 is good.
  • Chapter 2:
    • Agrees that we need to check the items that Paul highlighted.

> Joan will do a bit more research here and check sources.

  • Wonders if the child-care section is outdated in light of universal pre-K and after-school until 5 pm programs.

> Jackson will do a bit of research on the current child-care situation and will check in with employers.

  • Chapter 3: Notes that we’ll need to go back and add sources.
    • Added a paragraph about Braintree’s architectural history. There may be additional information on Snowsville. Needs to add information on old dams as evidence of an ‘industrial’ past.
    • 5.3: Clarified that we have no “identified” archeological resources.
  • Chapter 4:
    • Notes that Braintree may be maxed out for new housing sites: geographically challenged (particularly in light of need for two septic sites).
    • 5: Need to consider the balance between solar and wind development vs. preserving agricultural land.

 

Jen:

  • Chapter 1: good
  • Chapter 2: No mention of Stagecoach?
    • Need to double check descriptions of town officers and volunteers (Town Report)
    • In policies/actions:
      • How do we: attract the young? Improve transportation? Develop the economy?
    • Need to clarify the connection between climate change and forests.
    • How recent is development or densification in South Braintree.
    • Housing should include all types of housing, not just apartment buildings.
    • Add wood to the energy section.
  • Chapter 4: Needs to include:
    • Housing
    • EV charging
    • Single-family homes
    • Isn’t Randolph providing sufficient socialization for seniors?

 

Joan:

In the interests of time Joan will send her comments to Paul. They are largely in agreement with others comments.

 

Next meeting will focus on policies and actions.

  • Paul will pull together earlier policies and actions, organize them and weed out repetition.
  • Joan will send around TRORC’s last replies about required elements.
  • Malcom will draft areas of concern to him, particularly water.
  • Jackson will consider childcare and housing sites.
  • Jen will focus on housing.

 

Adjourned at 8:50 pm.

 

Tentative schedule for next meeting: Thursday 16 April by phone conference

 

/s/ Joan Richmond-Hall