03/25/2020 Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

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  • Wonders if the child-care section is outdated in light of universal pre-K and after-school until 5 pm programs.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



  • 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?



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