Residents this year will decide whether to create a new business district on River Road that will allow for different types of businesses and homes in that area.

In total, residents will vote on 49 articles at this year's Annual Town Meeting, and among the three private articles submitted by residents is a bylaw amendment that would create a "River Road Business Overlay District" on River Road, immediately east of the road's Interstate 93 interchange. The article would open up an area of land located around Campanelli Drive, Old River Road and along River Road for "possible service-focused development," according to an explanation of the amendment. This could open the door to a variety of establishments, including banks, convenience stores, supermarkets, fast food restaurants and a medical center.

"A very common observation in Andover is that the residents and workers in the West Andover area have nowhere to go to obtain the typical services that homeowners, business people and employees readily enjoy in other parts of Andover," the supporters' explanation says. "The District would allow currently non-existent conveniences and services to be provided to the underserved residents, business community, and commuters by allowing appropriately scaled and designed retail, mixed use and multi-family development."

This year's Annual Town Meeting is scheduled for April 27-28 at Andover High School's Collins Field House starting at 7 p.m., and on May 2-3 at the school's Collins Center for the Performing Arts at 7 p.m., so long as additional days are necessary.

Some of the other articles that may draw attention include:

PRIVATE — DOWNTOWN BANNERS: To allow the hanging of banners in Andover's General Business District from buildings as well as light poles.

PRIVATE — BANNING BOW HUNTING: To prohibit the discharging of bow or crossbow weapons on town land, with exceptions.

OFF-STREET PARKING: To amend zoning bylaws regulating off-street parking requirements for businesses coming into town.

SOLAR FARM FEASIBILITY: To raise and appropriate $25,000 to conduct a feasibility study regarding solar farms on town land.

OPEN SPACE RESIDENTIAL DESIGN: To amend zoning bylaws by adding a new section regarding open space residential design special permits.

CONSERVATION LAND: To raise and appropriate $200,000 for the acquisition of a total of 1.38 acres of land on 23 and 25 Willard Circle for conservation purposes.

PEARSON PARKING LOT: To raise and appropriate $85,000 to design and build a municipal parking lot at 16 and 18 Pearson St.

HIGH PLAIN ROAD DRAINAGE: To raise and appropriate $75,000 for design and engineering costs regarding drainage improvements on High Plain Road at Fish Brook.

OPEB TRUST FUND: To transfer money from various funds and appropriate those funds to the Other Post Employment Benefit Trust Fund.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION: To amend zoning bylaws regarding dimensional space permits and historic preservation, so that local officials may approve matters regarding historic preservation restrictions in addition to state officials, as the law currently allows.

MUNICIPAL SERVICES FACILITY: To raise and appropriate $100,000 to study options for the town's future Municipal Services Facility (which will include the Town Yard).

For a complete list of all articles on the preliminary warrant, see the Townsman website at andovertownsman.com.

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