Planning board review of MIT 2030

Meeting on Tuesday to discuss zoning petition

MIT will present a new round of its ideas for the future of Kendall Square and the MIT campus east of Ames St. at Tuesday evening’s public meeting of the Cambridge Planning Board.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. on May 1, 2012 at the City Hall Annex at 344 Broadway.

According to the meeting agenda, the Board will consider a zoning petition from Forest City regarding the block north of Random Hall at 7:20 p.m., followed by a discussion of zoning growing out of city’s Kendall-to-Central (K2C2) initiative, and then an “MIT Zoning Petition Proposal update.”

MIT had originally proposed a change to zoning in the Kendall area and the area of campus east of Ames St. in April 2011. The proposal would have enabled implementation of part of MIT’s plan for additional academic buildings and future business development, dubbed “MIT 2030.”

MIT withdrew its proposal last year after the city began the K2C2 process to re-envision both squares.

Meanwhile, this week was a whirlwind winding down for the Kendall portion of that study. On Monday morning, the Kendall advisory committee heard a presentation on retail space in Kendall Square. Mike Berne, the city’s retail sub-consultant, said Kendall had insufficient population to support a full-sized supermarket, but should be able to support a drugstore, such as a Walgreens or a CVS.

On Tuesday, the city’s consultants presented a summary of the work so far to the City Council. The Council expressed a desire for a half-day retreat to try to develop a more complete understanding of the proposal.

Then, yesterday morning, the advisory committee met again to discuss specific language of zoning regulations. While that meeting was supposed to be the last, it was clear the committee would require additional sessions to complete its work — it got about halfway through its agenda. Another meeting is tentatively scheduled for May 17.