Events and Committee Meetings

To learn about 495/MetroWest Partnership events and committee meetings as they are announced, be sure to subscribe to our email newsletter! 

Upcoming Events and Committee Meetings

Planning & Economic Development Working Group, First Session: The 495/MetroWest Partnership’s new 2022-2027 Strategic Plan calls upon the organization to organize and convene forums of the region’s planning and economic development officers. To that end, the Partnership’s Executive Steering Committee voted in September to create the 495/MetroWest Planning & Economic Development Working Group, with the following charge:

  • To provide a setting in which planning and economic development officers from each of the 36 495/MetroWest Partnership municipalities may discuss and collaborate on common issues of relevance impacting communities and economic development in our region. Participants will focus on the shared goals of promoting sustainable economic growth, consistent with the Mission, Vision, Values, and Strategic Goals identified in the 495/MetroWest Partnership’s 2022-2027 Strategic Plan.

The first session of the working group will be held in-person in Ashland, Massachusetts on Thursday, December 8th at 2:00 PM. Planning and economic development staff (as defined by the municipality) for each of the 36 cities and towns served by the Partnership have been invited to participate; invitations went out via email on November 1st. Recognizing that the description “planning and economic development staff” will sometimes reflect more than one staff member, municipalities have the option to send up to two participants. Any municipal official wishing to participate or learn if their municipality is sending representatives should contact Executive Director Jason Palitsch via email at [email protected].

Charles River Watershed Stakeholder Discussion: EPA Region 1 has announced that they will exercise their residual designation authority under the Clean Water Act in the Charles, Mystic, and Neponset river watersheds. Certain commercial, industrial, and institutional properties with one or more acres of impervious area will be required to obtain coverage under an EPA Clean Water Act permit. Once permits are issued, property owners will be required to take steps to reduce pollutants in stormwater. Privately owned commercial, industrial, and institutional properties with 1-acre or greater impervious cover will need to seek coverage under one of these permits (or an individual permit if they prefer) and take the actions spelled out in the permits. The Partnership's Water Resources Committee hosted EPA Region 1 staff for an informational presentation on this matter on November 1st; click here to access a recording of that presentation.

The Partnership will host a follow-up discussion among impacted stakeholders on Tuesday, December 13th, 2022 at 8:30 AM, for the purpose of soliciting and discussing the viewpoints among our various constituencies. This will be a hybrid event, hosted in Westborough, Massachusetts for those interested in attending in person, with an option to participate virtually via Zoom. Please fill out this form to register for the event. Location information or Zoom registration information will be emailed following registration.

495/MetroWest Partnership communities that are fully or partially located within the Charles River watershed are Ashland, Bellingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Medfield, Medway, Milford, Millis, Natick, Norfolk, Sherborn, Wayland, and Wrentham. Portions of Foxborough and Medfield are located in the Neponset River watershed.

Recent Events and Committee Meetings

Boston MPO & CMMPO Long Range Transportation Plan Development Presentation: On Wednesday, November 30th, 2022, the Transportation Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership hosted a virtual presentation from the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization (Boston MPO) and Central Massachusetts Metropolitan Planning Organization (CMMPO) on the development of their respective Long-Range Transportation Plans. MPOs are federally required to produce a Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) every four years with a minimum 20-year planning horizon. LRTPs ultimately establish a vision for the region’s transportation system by factoring in travel patterns, technology, equity needs, population growth, and land-use patterns, among other areas to address system preservation, modernization efforts, safety, congestion, and multimodality. 

495/MetroWest Partnership communities that are served by the Boston MPO include Acton, Ashland, Bellingham, Bolton, Boxborough, Foxborough, Framingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Littleton, Marlborough, Maynard, Medfield, Medway, Milford, Millis, Natick, Norfolk, Sherborn, Southborough, Stow, Sudbury, Wayland, and Wrentham.

495/MetroWest Partnership communities that are served by CMMPO include Berlin, Grafton, Hopedale, Northborough, Shrewsbury, Upton, and Westborough.

I-495/I-90 Interchange Improvements Project Briefing: On Thursday, November 3rd, 2022, the Transportation Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership hosted representatives from MassDOT to provide an update on the I-495/I-90 interchange improvements project. Construction activities for the project are slated to begin in the coming weeks. On an average day, approximately 75,000 vehicles use the interchange itself. In the immediate area, I-90 carries around 100,000 vehicles and I-495 carries around 110,000 daily. 
Inquiries or concerns regarding the project may be directed to MassDOT staff via email at [email protected]. A virtual Public Information Meeting on the project will be hosted by MassDOT on Wednesday, November 16th, at 6:00 PM; click here for registration information for the Public Information Meeting.

Presentation and Q&A: EPA Residual Designation Authority in the Charles River Watershed: EPA Region 1 has announced that they will exercise their residual designation authority under the Clean Water Act in the Charles, Mystic, and Neponset river watersheds. Certain commercial, industrial, and institutional properties with one or more acres of impervious area will be required to obtain coverage under an EPA Clean Water Act permit. Once permits are issued, property owners will be required to take steps to reduce pollutants in stormwater. EPA anticipates issuing one or more general permits specifying the activities that property owners must implement to reduce stormwater pollution from their properties. Before these requirements are finalized, EPA will conduct a public process, including publication of a draft permit and an opportunity to comment. Privately owned commercial, industrial, and institutional properties with 1-acre or greater impervious cover will need to seek coverage under one of these permits (or an individual permit if they prefer) and take the actions spelled out in the permits.

The 495/MetroWest Partnership's Water Resources Committee hosted EPA Region 1 staff for an informational presentation on this matter on Tuesday, November 1st, 2022. 
A follow-up discussion among 495/MetroWest Partnership impacted stakeholders is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, December 13th, 2022 at 8:30 AM; check back to this page for further details once they become available. 


495/MetroWest Partnership communities that are fully or partially located within the Charles River watershed are Ashland, Bellingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Medfield, Medway, Milford, Millis, Natick, Norfolk, Sherborn, Wayland, and Wrentham. Portions of Foxborough and Medfield are located in the Neponset River watershed.

2022 Climate Legislation Presentation: Tuesday, October 18th, 2022, the Energy and Sustainable Development Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership will host a special presentation from State Representative Jeffrey N. Roy of Franklin, who serves as House Chairperson of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. The presentation focused on An Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind, major climate legislation passed and signed into law in August 2022. The bill contained significant provisions related to clean energy investment, offshore wind, electric vehicles, and more.

State House Day...in the District! The 495/MetroWest Partnership hosted our annual State House Day event on June 15th, 2022. As the State House is not yet open to outside events, this year's event was hosted at Framingham State University. State House Day is an annual opportunity created by the Partnership for our stakeholders to interact with members of our region’s legislative delegation, hear about their priorities, and ask questions or offer feedback relevant to your business, organization, or community. Participating this year were Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland), Speaker Pro Tempore Kate Hogan (D-Stow), Senator James Eldridge (D-Acton), Senator Michael Moore (D-Millbury), Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham), Representative Carmine Gentile (D-Sudbury), Representative Jack Patrick Lewis (D-Framingham), Representative Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury), and Representative Maria Robinson (D-Framingham). 

FY23-27 TIP Presentations: The Transportation Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership hosted staff representing the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization (Boston MPO) and the Central Massachusetts Metropolitan Planning Organization (CMMPO) to present on their respective Transportation Improvement Programs (TIP) for Fiscal Years 2023-27 on Tuesday, April 5th, 2022. Each MPO, a federally required planning entity for urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000, is annually required to produce a TIP, which is a five-year, rolling list of regionally significant surface and non-surface transportation projects programmed with federal funding. Each presentation covered the respective MPO's TIP process, timeline, federal funding mechanisms, project evaluation criteria, and an overview of regionally significant projects programmed for funding in the 495/MetroWest region.
The Partnership extends our thanks to Matt Genova of the Central Transportation Planning Staff, and Sujatha Krishnan, Kevin Krasnecky, and Rich Rydant of the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission for their presentations. For more information about the Boston MPO’s Transportation Improvement Program, click here. For more information about the Central Massachusetts MPO’s Transportation Improvement Program, click here.

Draft Guidance for Multi-family Zoning Requirements for MBTA Communities: On Monday, March 28th, 2022, the 495/MetroWest Partnership and the Middlesex 3 Coalition co-hosted a presentation regarding the Commonwealth’s Draft Guidance for Multi-family Zoning Requirements for MBTA Communities. Click here to view a recording of the presentation. Enacted as part of the economic development bill in January 2021, state law now requires that any MBTA Community shall have at least one zoning district of reasonable size in which multi-family housing is permitted as of right. In December 2021, DHCD released draft guidelines for MBTA Communities regarding these new multi-family zoning requirements. The presentation was led by Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, Chris Kluchman of the Department of Housing and Community Development, and Clark Ziegler of the Massachusetts Housing Partnership. Additional resources:

Massachusetts Clean Water Trust: On Wednesday, March 16th, 2022 the Water Resources Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership hosted a presentation on the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust. The Massachusetts Clean Water Trust is a state agency that provides low-interest loans to municipalities and other eligible entities for the purpose of improving water quality throughout the Commonwealth. Loan funding is provided through the Massachusetts State Revolving Funds. Nate Keenan, Deputy Director of the Clean Water Trust, provided an overview of resources available, as well as information regarding new sources of funding coming to Massachusetts. Click here to access a recording of this event. 

PACE Program Presentation: On February 15th, 2022, the Energy and Sustainable Development Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership hosted representatives from MassDevelopment to present on the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. PACE is a new mechanism to finance energy improvements, such as energy-efficiency projects, renewables, and gas line extensions, on commercial and industrial properties in Massachusetts. Click here to access the slide presentation from the event. To finance improvements, a property owner agrees to a betterment assessment on their property, which repays the financing. This approach enables owners to undertake more comprehensive energy upgrades with longer payback periods of up to 20 years. At property sale, the lien stays with the property and is transferred to subsequent property owners. Properties eligible for financing through PACE include commercial buildings, industrial buildings, and multi-family buildings with five or more units. Individual municipalities may opt into PACE one time by a majority vote of the city or town council or the board of selectmen, as appropriate. For more information on the PACE program, click here.

495/MetroWest Partnership Strategic Plan Presentation & Discussion:
 The Partnership hosted a virtual presentation and discussion on our proposed 2022-2027 Strategic Plan on Friday, January 28th, 2022 at 8:30 AM. Attendees were presented with an overview of the plan, and had the opportunity to ask questions and offer feedback. Click here to access the slide presentation utilized during this event. Visit our Strategic Plan page to read the plan, or to learn more about our plan development process. 

Presentation from #InvestInWaterMA Campaign: The Water Resources Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership hosted a presentation and discussion on the #InvestInWaterMA initiative on Tuesday, January 11th, 2022. Click here to access the slide presentation from this meeting, providing an overview of the #InvestInWaterMA campaign. The #InvestInWaterMA effort aims to see water, sewer, and wastewater infrastructure prioritized for new infrastructure funding. State and federal policymakers will be making critical decisions about where and how to invest billions of dollars in federal infrastructure and COVID relief funding in the coming months and years. Key messages of the campaign include the funding gap for cities, towns, and regional water utilities for water infrastructure needs, and the positive relationship between water/ wastewater infrastructure investment and increased economic activity. To learn more about the effort visit www.ucane.com/investinwaterma.

I-90 Allston Multimodal Project Presentation: The Transportation Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership hosted MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, Acting Chief Engineer Carrie Lavallee, and Project Manager Michael O’Dowd for a presentation on the I-90 Allston Multimodal Project on Tuesday, November 23rd. The project will remove the existing Allston Viaduct carrying the Massachusetts Turnpike along the Charles River in Boston and likely construct an all-at-grade replacement of the Turnpike, Soldiers Field Road, and commuter rail tracks. Click here to access the slide presentation from the event. The proposed project will further create a new stop on the Framingham/Worcester Commuter Line to be known as West Station. The completed project, as well as its 8-10 year construction phase, will have a substantial impact on commuters and businesses to the west of Boston. Attendees were provided a general overview of the project, and had the opportunity to ask questions of MassDOT. Click here to access a video recording of the presentation.

Transit Oriented Development Forum:
 The Housing Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership hosted a virtual forum focused on Transit Oriented Development on Tuesday, November 9th, 2021. Panelists included Erika Oliver Jerram, Acting Director of Planning and Community Development for the City of Framingham; Jamie Hellen, Town Administrator for the Town of Franklin; and Christopher McGoldrick, Town Planner for the Town of Grafton. The conversation focused on recent and in-progress TOD projects, as well as long-term visioning centered around Commuter Rail stations. Click here to view a recording of the discussion

Water Resources Committee Meeting with Congresswoman Trahan: The Water Resources Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership hosted Congresswoman Lori Trahan of Massachusetts’ 3rd Congressional District virtually on Thursday, November 4th, 2021. The Congresswoman discussed her work on the House Energy & Commerce and Natural Resources Committees, as well as comprehensive PFAS legislation recently passed by the House, and took questions from the audience. Congresswoman Trahan represents the 495/MetroWest Partnership communities of Acton, Berlin, Bolton, Boxborough, Harvard, Hudson, Littleton, Marlborough, Maynard, Stow, Sudbury, and Westford. Click here to view a recording of the event.

October 14th Transportation Committee Meeting: The Transportation Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership met virtually on Thursday, October 14th. Click here to access a recording of the meeting. The agenda included a presentation from the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization regarding their Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) development process, an overview from the Regional Transit Authority Advocacy Coalition (RTAAC) on their proposed RTA Advancement bill, and a brief presentation from GATRA on two new demand-response services which between them will serve the 495/MetroWest Partnership communities Foxborough, Franklin, Norfolk, Plainville, and Wrentham. To access slide presentations and other materials referenced during the session, click the respective links below:

Virtual State House Day 2021: The 495/MetroWest Partnership hosted our annual State House Day virtually this year on Tuesday, June 15th. This event featured a keynote address from Senate President Karen Spilka, a roundtable discussion with members of the 495/MetroWest Legislative Delegation, and the unveiling of Strength in Numbers 2021, our annual economic and demographic report highlighting the region’s strengths and advantages. Click here to access our Strength in Numbers 2021 report

Housing Submarkets Presentation & Discussion: On June 9th, the Housing Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership hosted a presentation and discussion with MAPC focused on their Housing Submarkets study, and submarket-specific strategies to meet housing needs and demand through housing and affordable housing production, preservation, and housing stability protections. A housing submarket is a collection of neighborhoods with similar housing stock and housing market characteristics. These characteristics contribute to who can find, afford, and remain in suitable housing in that neighborhood. Presenting on behalf of MAPC were Jessie Partridge Guerrero, Research Manager at MAPC, and Karina Oliver-Milchman, AICP, Chief of Housing & Neighborhood Development. Click here to view a recording of this presentation and discussion

Climate Legislation Presentation with Secretary Theoharides: 
On May 18th, 2021, the Water Resources and Energy and Sustainable Development Committees of the 495/MetroWest Partnership hosted a special presentation from Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen A. Theoharides on An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy, major climate legislation signed into law earlier this year. Click here to view a recording of the session with Secretary Theoharides. The legislation, signed into law by Governor Baker in March, codifies a commitment to achieve Net Zero emissions in 2050, establishes new interim goals for emissions reductions, authorizes the Administration to implement a new, voluntary energy efficient building code for municipalities, and allows the Commonwealth to procure an additional 2,400 Megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2027, among other provisions.

Discussion with Congressman Jake Auchincloss: The Transportation Committee hosted a discussion with Congressman Jake Auchincloss of Massachusetts’ Fourth Congressional District on March 31st. Serving his first term, Congressman Auchincloss has been assigned to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, where he serves on the Highways & Transit; Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation; and Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittees. Congressman Auchincloss represents all or portions of 34 Massachusetts cities and towns, including the 495/MetroWest Partnership communities of Bellingham, Foxborough, Franklin, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Medfield, Medway, Milford, Millis, Norfolk, Plainville, and Wrentham. Click here to view a recording of the meetingAs Congress forges ahead on a significant infrastructure package and invites Members to request transportation and infrastructure “earmarks” for the first time in a decade, Congressman Auchincloss specifically requests your input on priority projects for your communities; if you would like to request that Rep. Auchincloss submit a Community Project Funding (“earmark”) request or a regular Appropriations request on your or your organization’s behalf, please visit this website which has instructions on how to complete this form.

MWRA Presentation:
 The Water Resources Committee hosted a presentation from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) and the MWRA Advisory Board on Tuesday, March 30th. MWRA is a public authority established by the Legislature in 1984 to provide wholesale water and sewer services in 61 metropolitan Boston communities, including, at present, 6 communities in the Partnership’s service area. The MWRA Advisory Board is an independent agency that was established at the same time to represent the interests of the cities and towns in the MWRA’s service area. Click here to view a recording of the presentation. The presentation focused on MWRA’s activities and services in the Partnership’s service region, and how municipalities interested in joining MWRA may initiate that process. Click here to access the slide presentation from the event

Housing Committee First Session: The Housing Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership hosted its first session on Thursday, March 25th. Click here to view a recording of the session. We hosted two presentations, each followed by a Question and Answer period: Amy Dain, Consultant, Dain Research, and author of The State of Zoning for Multi-Family Housing in Greater Boston, presented on the state of multi-family housing in the region and potential strategies going forward, and Chris Kluchman, Deputy Director of the Community Services Division at (DHCD presented an overview of the state’s new Housing Choice legislation and its implementation. Chris Kluchman's presentation can be downloaded via this link.

MassDOT Highway Division Presentation: On Thursday, March 4th, the Transportation Committee hosted Barry Lorion, District Highway Director for District 3, and Thomas Emerick, Highway Division District 3 Operations Engineer, who discussed regional roadway projects both upcoming and underway. Click here to download the presentation slides presented during this session

Municipal Government Response to COVID-19 in 495/MetroWest: On February 9th, the Energy and Sustainable Development Committee hosted a special forum as part of its series on the impact of COVID-19 on our region, "Municipal Government Response to COVID-19 in 495/MetroWest." This panel discussion focused on how municipal governments across our region have responded to the pandemic. You can view a recording of the discussion online at this link. Our panel included Sgt. Ed Burman, Ashland Police Department; Bill Keegan, Foxborough Town Manager; Kristen Las, Shrewsbury Assistant Town Manager; John Mangiaratti, Acton Town Manager; and Louise Miller, Wayland Town Administrator. Check out coverage of the event in The MetroWest Daily News.

Business Response to COVID-19 in 495/MetroWest: On December 9th, 2020, the Energy and Sustainable Development Committee hosted a special forum as part of its series on the impact of COVID-19 on economic development, "Business Response to COVID-19 in 495/MetroWest." This discussion focused on how different economic sectors in our region have responded to the pandemic. You can view a recording of the discussion online at this link. Our panel included Lisa Churchill, Owner, Blush Bouquets of Ashland; Brian Earley, Vice President & General Manager, The Kraft Group/ Patriot Place; George Coutros, Sanofi US, Director of State Government Relations; Katie Quinn, Owner, Mullahy’s Cheese Shop of Hudson; Austin O’Connor, Owner, The Briar Group; and Ed Cuthbertson, General Manager, Bass Pro Shops of Foxborough.

Potential New Stormwater Requirements in the Charles River Watershed: On October 27th, 2020, the 495/MetroWest Partnership hosted staff from EPA Region 1 for a presentation regarding potential new stormwater requirements in the Charles River Watershed. In 2019, EPA Region 1 received a petition from the Conservation Law Foundation and the Charles River Watershed Association asking that EPA use its Residual Designation Authority to require permits for stormwater discharges that are not otherwise regulated for commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities within the Charles River watershed. EPA is now formulating a response to the petition. Click here to access the slides from EPA's presentation to the Partnership. Partnership communities that are fully or partially located within the Charles River watershed are Ashland, Bellingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Medfield, Medway, Milford, Millis, Natick, Norfolk, Sherborn, Wayland, and Wrentham.

New PFAS Drinking Water Standard: On October 21st, 2020, the 495/MetroWest Partnership hosted representatives from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for a presentation regarding the Commonwealth's new PFAS drinking water standard. In January 2019, DEP announced its intention to initiate the process to develop a drinking water standard, known as a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), for a group of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). The revised PFAS regulation was published on October 2nd, 2020.