Saturday, July 20, 2024

A Washington, D.C., pizza chain will get hearings for a modified version of its concept for Harvard Square.

The city has hastily scheduled hearings for &pizza’s “milk &pizza” concept in Harvard Square: Monday at 6 p.m. the Harvard Square Advisory Committee will meet, and Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. the Planning Board will meet. Both hearings are at the City Hall Annex at 344 Broadway, and had paper notices posted just before close-of-business Wednesday at 4:57 p.m. Washington, D.C.-based &pizza filed its planning board request June 27.

It’s the next try at replacing Crimson Corner and Tory Row in Harvard Square for the hipster eatery, this time partnering with award-winning desert and savory bakery Milk Bar to broaden the menu.

The committee reviews all special permit requests in the Harvard Square area, and its meeting notice says it is reviewing &pizza’s application that “replaces the previous application at this location with a different concept with new food offerings and revised interior and exterior plans.” The committee’s website does not yet list the &pizza hearing, although the Monday meeting was previously scheduled with one item on the agenda: replacement of Boloco at 71 Mount Auburn with Zambrero, also a Mexican food restaurant.

The Planning Board’s review of &pizza is a bit different. It is required to “consent” to the application, and although the law gives standards for the zoning board to consider a repetitive petition after Planning Board consent is received, it does not define what consent means. All but one of the seven board members must consent.

Instead of the “consent” language, though, the Planning Board’s meeting notice says it is to “determine if specific and material changes in the conditions are found” in the application. “Specific and material” is the legal standard for the Board of Zoning Appeal, but not necessarily for the Planning Board.

If the Planning Board consents, the zoning board will schedule a hearing to determine if &pizza’s changes are specific and material.

Meeting notices for the Tuesday, July 11, hearing were mailed on Wednesday, July 5, city staff said.