ABOVE: The Franklin Quarry - a rare peek inside. Yes - it's BIG.
Lack of posts does not indicate a lack of activity.
Since being appointed to the Plan Commission a few months back, I've not seen a site plan for new development of any huge significance -- a sign of the times, to be sure.
New berms being constructed alongside the quarry, however, have caused consternation among residents nearby. The engineering training of Commission members varies greatly, but Plan Staff is there to assure us that the quarry's operators are within pre-agreed mining limits. Since the berms do not violate any ordinances and are actually required by the city's agreement with the quarry (also called the PPD, and posted below) we voted to allow their design to go forward.
To the surprise of almost everyone involved, the two companies that operate the quarry located in the heart of Franklin -- near neighborhoods and a school -- are not being monitored independently for possible seismic and particulate violations. Neighbors have been holding meetings to address what they feel are egregious violations.
After a close read of the agreement between the City of Franklin and the quarry operators (a document which was not included in the Plan Commission's packet for agenda items pertaining to the quarry, by the way), I found a clear mandate for action by the Commission. I introduced -- and the Plan Commission passed -- two motions calling for a quarry monitoring group to be put together, and for resumption of independent seismic and particulate monitoring at the expense of the companies operating the quarry, as per the original agreement.
I added an amendment to the motion that prohibits elected officials from serving on the quarry monitoring body; there are compelling examples of the quarry being released from certain obligations and responsibilities with the aid of elected officials who have received financial support as candidates from the quarry operators. Nothing illegal about this, but certainly not within the best interests of the city.
Next on the agenda: introducing the COMPLETE STREETS concept to Franklin. I gave a presentation to the Plan Commission this past week, and expect to repeat it for the Common Council and Forward Franklin Economic Development Commission in the near future. MUCH to say about COMPLETE STREETS and its potential positive economic and social impact in the near future -- in this case, a bit of engineering training is occuring on an ongoing basis -- so watch this space.