One such meeting is a Planning Board meeting scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, July 28. A busy agenda is on their docket, and an item of interest related to this blog is the last item on the agenda: the continuation of a discussion of design guidelines and the possibility of creating a village center overlay district for business or limited business use, and whether to hire a consultant to assist in the effort of researching and making recommendations on these topics. That discussion is scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m.
The Planning Board will likely be a significant player in this unfolding story. Their role in crafting and recommending zoning bylaw changes and design guidelines will be key as to whether and to what extent commercial development proceeds in the town center and elsewhere. A change in zoning is required to allow the Bolton Crossing proposal (or any commercially oriented proposal for that matter) to be developed on the Smith property site. Zoning articles usually originate from and are sponsored by the Planning Board.
I want to stress that decisions and/or in-depth discussions regarding Planning Board positions on zoning changes and design guidelines are NOT expected at this meeting. But there is expected to be a review of the consultant’s proposed scope-of-work (which could be directionally important as to where the PB wants to go on this topic) and possibly a decision as to whether to hire them.