SOMERVILLE, MA-The Planning Board here voted unanimously to recommend to the Board of Alderman that it adopt Mayor Dorothy Kelly Gay’s zoning proposal for Assembly Square. Alderman at Large Denise Provost and Mystic View Task Force, a citizen’s group, made the other two proposals.

“The Planning Board’s recommendation has factored into the Aldermen’s decision in the past,” Sean Fitzgerald, Mayor Kelly Gay’s spokesperson, tells “The mayor’s proposal would allow for mixed-use development, more open spaces and reduced block sizes.”

The Planning Board also voted unanimously to recommend that the Board of Alderman reject the Task Force’s proposal and four to one to reject Provost’s proposal. Many developers, along with Mayor Kelly Gay and some aldermen, have opposed these other two plans stating that they are too restrictive for the 145-acre site and could discourage developers. Provost, the Task Force and some alderman have argued that the mayor’s plan allows builders to develop big box stores and parking lots. Their proposals, they state, would allow the development of office buildings, small-scale retail stores, parks, bike paths and similar types of development.

In another encouraging move for the mayor, the Planning Board also voted four to one to approve the construction of a Home Depot on the 26-acre site of the former Assembly Square Mall. Taurus New England, which owns this property will be developing the site in addition to a waterfront park, hotel, office tower and a café.

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