Public Kendall meeting next Tues.

Cambridge, Goody Clancy will seek public input on year-long study

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One development scenario for Kendall Square, featuring 2000 units of housing, three million square feet of retail, and 250,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. This slide was presented at yesterday’s committee meeting, under the title “preferred development scenario.” Some committee members disagreed — “preferred by whom?” asked Barbara Broussard, of the East Cambridge Planning Team, who suggested that the office buildings looked too much like “wedding cakes,” with their layers of decreasing size as they grew.

For the past year, the city of Cambridge has been running a $350,000 study to determine the future of Kendall Square. That study is almost complete, and the city is gearing up for a final public meeting to present its recommendations and get public feedback.

That meeting will be held next Tuesday April 10, at 6 p.m. at the Marriott in Kendall Square. The meeting will address the shape, size, and form of future buildings in Kendall, as well as how much space will be allocated to housing.

“This meeting will help to define Kendall Square for the next ten years,” said David Dixon of Goody Clancy & Associates, who is leading the study. The meeting should be of interest to everyone at MIT, Dixon said, from faculty and staff to grad students to undergraduates. “We’re going to put the whole effort in context,” he said.

MIT put forth a proposal to the city last year for rezoning the campus east of Ames Street and planning to develop additional buildings there. It subsequently withdrew that proposal when the city’s intentions on this study became clear. MIT is expected to resubmit its proposal after this study is complete.

The study and its work is “all about attracting people who want to live and work and play and study” in Kendall Square, Dixon said.

The Kendall Square Advisory Committee has met 16 times since last April, and has published a wealth of slides and meeting agenda on their web site, The committee’s 20-person membership includes two representatives from MIT, four local real estate developers, and eight local residents (including MIT faculty, staff, and one graduate student).

Dixon said that those who plan to attend could prepare for the meeting by looking at past presentations “to get a sense of where this thing is coming from,” but that this presentation would be much more of an “integrated overview that ties together” the pieces.

MIT community attendance has been sparse to nonexistent at the meetings, which are generally held at 8:00 a.m. at One Broadway; the next committee meeting is this morning. Beyond a few members of the Committee who work for MIT, or MIT employees who attend in their official capacity, public attendance at meetings has primarily been local residents — the meeting after Google first proposed the reduction of the Three Cambridge Center rooftop garden was especially crowded.

The Committee has not published minutes of its meetings, which are open to the public; instead, “Our approach has been that the result of the discussions are reflected in changes in the recommendations and presentation materials … at subsequent meetings,” said Iram Farooq, a project planner for Cambridge Community Development.

(The committee’s meetings do not fall under the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law that requires public minutes, according to Susan Glazer, the deputy director of the community development department.)