The solution, according to Planning Board member Vincent Chiozzi, is a mixed-use development with high residential density and a rich commercial space that creates “that 24-hour feel.”
“Otherwise, it just feels like a commercial area that closes up at 8 or 9 o’clock at night,” Chiozzi said. “Mixed use is the way to go, and it has so much going for it as a site.”
The discussion is expected to continue on Jan. 7, when the two boards will review how different mixes of commercial and residential space will add to the school-age population.
From there, a more clear vision of the Town Yard’s current home on Lewis Street will move on to Town Meeting for voters to discuss.
“The idea is to come up with some agreeable potential for it and then bring it to the voters at Town Meeting to see if there’s the appetite to do that,” Vispoli said. “Then, if you get a ‘yes,’ then you can go forward with the proposal of the next step. That’s looking for an alternative site (for the Town Yard).”