Developers Holding Community Meeting On Nobscot Zoning Change February 6
FRAMINGHAM – Developers seeking to change the zoning in the Nobscot section of the City of Framingham to construct housing will hold a community meeting on Monday, February 6.
The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Historic Village Hall at 2 Oak Street in Framingham. All are invited. The building is ADA compliant.
“We told the City’s Planning Director Sarky about the meeting on Friday afternoon,” said Steve Cucinatti and Rick Vallarelli to SOURCE in an interview this morning, January 30.
Originally, the meeting was scheduled for the community room in the Christa McAuliffe Library, but it only holds 55-65 people, said Cucinatti.
“We wanted as many people to provide us feedback on the project so we moved the meeting to Village Hall,” he added.
The developers also launched a website today called www.NobscotVillage.com.
Anyone can provide feedback about the project on the website. Those who can not make Monday night’s meeting can also provide feedback.
The developers have not officially filed any plans with the City of Framingham yet, but had an informal discussion with the 5-member Framingham Planning Board about the project.
SOURCE wrote about the proposal in September 2022.
The developers are not required to hold a community meeting, but have chosen to hold one to hear concerns and to address those concerns.
Editor’s note: SOURCE has accepted advertising for the public meeting from the developers. Newspapers and news outlets accepts advertising for public meetings all the time.
The developers want to re-zone about 25 acres in Nobscot to create a village, with multiple types of housing, a restaurant, and open space.
The vision, according to the website, is a “proposed mixed-use residential neighborhood nestled among an existing stand of woodlands within Nobscot Village. The neighborhood will be thoughtfully curated to protect existing wooded buffers along the established neighborhood edges, respond to rolling topography and aesthetically reflect the Nobscot Village design guidelines. The proposed neighborhood is an extension of the Nobscot Village community. The neighborhood will have walkable streets, common open spaces, shops, restaurants, small market, and opportunities for gathering. Additionally, as part of the development of the neighborhood, improvements to the adjacent Nobscot Park and trail system have been proposed.”
But to accomplish their vision, the developers need a zoning change.
The two developers believe the Commonwealth’s new Housing Choice law, passed by the Massachusetts legislature applies here. It eliminates the two-thirds majority vote for certain zoning changes related to housing production. Instead, if a developer provides a mix of housing, a simple majority is needed to change the zoning.
So instead of needing 8 votes of the 11-member City Council, the zoning change would only need 6 votes, under the Housing Choice option.
“The proposed project will add high-quality affordable, workforce, and market-rate housing for families and individuals alike to the north side of Framingham,” said the two developers.
The proposed project also will “includes approximately 50% open space, consisting of 15% of undisturbed area,” said the developers.
The proposed project will also add to the City’s tax base, and if approved create 1,000 construction jobs and approximately 250 permanent jobs.
‘We are excited to engage with the community,” said Cucinatti.
The meeting on Monday will introduce the developers to the public, have an overview of the project, and then a question and answer section.
“We really want to give answers to people’s questions,” said Vallarelli.
“We will give an overview of the site, where it is, and why we want the zoning change,” said Vallarelli.
“We will illustrate how this proposal fits perfectly with the City of Framingham’s economic development strategy,” said Cucinatti.
“We want the feedback – the good and the bad,” said Cucinatti.
“We realize that some people may not be able to attend the community meeting and want to provide feedback. The website gives everyone the opportunity to provide feedback,” said Cucinatti
“We will answer the questions and engage with the public on the website,” said Cucinatti. “People can see the questions and our answers.”
Again no formal plans have been submitted to the City of Framingham by the developers.
But there are conceptual drawings on the website.