Short Takes from the Housing Partnership – Nov. 7

Support for Two-family Dwellings

Members of the Bedford Housing Partnership, meeting on Nov.7, learned that approximately 60 percent of lots in town are non-conforming. The question arose during a lengthy discussion of the proposed two-family amendment to the zoning bylaw that ended with a unanimous vote of support.  

The board requested Jacinda Barbehenn to testify on their behalf at the Planning Board meeting on Nov. 9 where there will be a continuation of the public hearing on Proposed Zoning Bylaw Amendments to Section 4.2.2 and Table I, affecting two-family dwellings. Barbehenn is the Planning Board liaison to the Housing Partnership. The verbal affirmation of support will be followed by a formal letter.

Update on Plank Street Development 

After nearly a decade, a mixed-use development on Plank Street at the intersection of the Middlesex Turnpike is moving forward, albeit in a new iteration. 

Attorney Pamela Brown reviewed the long and involved history of the project. What was once envisioned as an office park has now taken the form of residential housing with 6,000 square feet of office or conference space on the first floor. Two separate buildings in the original plan are now conjoined in an L-shape, three-story building with a total of 52 rental units. Three are small studios (541 square feet) and the remainder are one-bedroom units ranging in size from 642 to 1000+ square feet. There is an elevator.

Many obstacles impeded progress on this development from the time it was first proposed: financial issues, ownership changes, the pandemic, and changes in the market but developer Greylock Partners (CT) now has obtained financing and looks toward occupancy in 18 to 20 months. 

From the Housing Partnership’s perspective, a major question is the equitable distribution of affordable units. Brown assured members that the 13 affordable units are scattered throughout the building. The board did not take any vote at the meeting. The update was for informational purposes only.

As an indication of the length of this project, here is a link to the earliest story posted in The Citizen in 2012: https://www.thebedfordcitizen.org/2012/08/planning-board-reacts-negatively-to-conversion-proposal-at-100-plank-street.

The most recent appeared in 2016. https://www.thebedfordcitizen.org/2016/01/100-plank-street-planning-board-hopes-this-is-the-final-story.


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