Franklin Summit looking for a quick fix

Published 9:05 am Wednesday, May 18, 2011

by Dawn Yurkas

This might be yesterday’s news, but citizens, if you ever want to sell a home you own in Franklin, you’d better listen up quick.
Letting Franklin Summit LLC come in and ask for rezoning from the city and get it, you might as well get your boats out and sail with the Tidy Bowl Man down the Blackwater River if you are a taxpaying property owner.
The very last thing Franklin needs is more rental properties. You can’t drive more than four blocks in this city without finding a multifamily dwelling.
Franklin Summit LLC came into town, asked Realtors and brokers what kind of homes should be built on the property on College Drive, disregarded the professional advice given to them and then tried to make a buck by going condo.
By not listening to Franklin Realtors, they now want us to get on board with a 270-unit apartment complex. And my response to this is, “Have you lost your mind?”
Think of it! Two hundred and seventy more families in Franklin. Oh wait, they’d have to rent out all the units first, and they won’t be able to because someone didn’t tell Franklin Summit LLC jobs are hard to come by in Franklin nowadays.
But Franklin Summit LLC will have a solution to that. They will begin to accept Section 8 vouchers to fill the vacancies, which will give us more people who will need social services from Franklin and put more children in our schools, which are barely surviving the budget crunch.
We are barely keeping our head above water financially, and a development of this size in a small city like Franklin is a burden that cannot be paid for and maintained in the long term.
Property taxes will have to go up as home prices are still declining, and many homeowners, myself included, will put their homes on the market and move somewhere else.
I live in this city. I love my community and my home. I pay taxes — property and personal — and Franklin Summit doesn’t get to come onto my turf and want a quick fix to its financial dilemma by building an apartment complex.
What puzzles me even more is why we are having this debate when the first and only response to Franklin Summit LLC should have been a solid resounding “no” by the city. You can bet I will be at the city Planning Commission meeting on May 26.
If Franklin Summit can’t abide by the zoning, it needs to sell the land to someone who will and cut its losses. We need a vision and a plan for the future, not developers who want to pad their bottom line with a quick zoning fix, then leave town without a glance backward, leaving Franklin property owners to bear the burden of their mistake.

DAWN YURKAS is a Franklin resident and is a Realtor with United Country A.B. Cole Associates Auction & Realty in Suffolk. She can be reached at