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By Jon Bishop

SHIRLEY — On Dec. 18, the Joint Boards of Selectmen will live up to its name.

At its meeting on Thursday, Harvard Board of Selectmen Chairman Stuart Sklar, who sat in on the proceedings, suggested that the Ayer, Shirley and Harvard Boards of Selectmen, as well as representatives from Devens, come to the Dec. 18 JBOS meeting. The purpose: To discuss proposed zoning amendments and potential changes to Super Town Meeting requirements. Both have to do with Chapter 498, the governing statue for Devens.

JBOS Chairman Leo Blair of Harvard, Shirley Selectman David Swain, Ayer Selectman and JBOS Vice Chairman Gary Luca, and Elizabeth Witmer of the Devens Advisory Committee all gave the go-ahead.

As proposed by Blair, the Super Town Meeting changes would have Ayer, Shirley and Harvard meet within a certain window, rather than at the same time, and the total votes cast in the three towns would be counted in judging passage or failure, which would prevent one town from defeating an article.

But Blair, because of some opposition, said he “whittled down” his position. He asked that they now see if town meetings could occur within 30 days of each other. There would be no changes to how the votes were counted or aggregated, he said.

Sklar called Blair’s Super Town Meeting proposal “a very viable idea, at least from the Harvard Board of Selectmen’s view.”

“I think it’s worth talking about,” he said.

Also, Blair offered an apology to Shirley, noting that he respects the town, its elected officials and its sovereignty. At a recent Harvard Board of Selectmen meeting, Selectmen Lucy Wallace and Ron Ricci said that Shirley should be removed from the Devens Regional Enterprise Zone, which would allow it to operate the Shirley Village Growth District, where some of the zoning changes will happen, on its own.

The proposed zoning changes, according to the JBOS agenda, include: allowing up to 120 units of senior housing in the Shirley Village Growth District; permitting health-care uses (meaning medical offices, physical therapists, etc.) in more than the two zoning districts in which it is currently allowed; allowing for the residential development of the former Adams Circle neighborhood and for the protection of environmental and historical resources; and allowing for the rezoning of parts of the southern end of Grand Road as commercial, which would twin it with the Innovation and Technology Business Zoning District.

Ricci, who also sat in on the meeting, said having Shirley control the Village Growth District merits some thought, and he clarified that he wasn’t attempting to act on Shirley’s behalf.

He said he was looking forward to Dec. 18, adding that the Super Town Meeting system “is doomed to failure.”

Blair said they should all go back to their respective boards and get confirmation about the Dec. 18 meeting. There, they will talk about all of the potential zoning changes, as well as the Super Town Meeting proposal.

“I think there’s nothing like some momentum,” he said.