Strategies Discussed for Town Land Acquisition

By Eliza Rosenberry

The Land Acquisition Committee heard from town Planning representatives at its Tuesday, June 6 meeting on the subject of Planned Residential Developments (PRDs).

Planning Board member Jeff Cohen and Planning Director Tony Fields appeared before the committee to discuss how PRDs could fit into the town’s approach to land acquisition.

The Land Acquisition Committee aims to identify land in Bedford that the Town might purchase with the goal of preserving natural resources or using the land for municipal or recreational purposes. The Committee maintains a list of these land parcels that are of interest.

Meanwhile, the Planning Board oversees hearings and approvals for PRDs, a type of development that requires the preservation of at least 40 percent open space. Sometimes the developer chooses to donate some of that open space to the Town, rather than oblige future PRD residents to maintain it. For example, the developers of Evergreen Meadows will give a 1.7 acre parcel of land to the town for conservation.

Committee members noted that these two processes could be complementary in helping the town acquire and keep desirable open space. Committee Chair Don Cullis plans to attend upcoming Planning Board meetings to initiate that collaborative process.

Indeed, goals of the Land Acquisition Committee seem to align with concerns residents and Planning Board members have expressed in recent development hearings.

“The primary, primary concern that residents have with new development is their privacy, the screening between parcels,” explained Cohen, mentioning recent discussions with residents over tree removals on Willow Lane.

And some Land Acquisition Committee members bemoaned the clear-cutting some developers undertake.

“That’s what this committee is for, right, in addition to the Conservation Committee,” said Cullis. “It’s about trying to get hold of those little pockets of nature before they get paved over.”

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5 years ago

I don’t know what upsets me more, the fact that the planning board is now discussing preserving green space, or the fact that the planning board disregarded the fact that the residents on Fox Run didn’t want to lose our green space to five McMansions.

Dan Archibald
Dan Archibald
5 years ago

Was there any discussion about the usefulness of a sub-2-acre parcel from a wildlife preservation point of view? I totally understand it’s great to find synergies between conservation and neighborhood attractiveness, but is the purpose of conservation in town really to make the environment more attractive for humans? (Maybe it is! I really don’t know.)

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