Letter to the Editor, March 22, 2018: Former Town Officials Support Annual Town Meeting Articles 6 and 7

Submitted by Anne Bickford, former School Committee member; Don Corey, former Selectman and Planning Board member; Bob Dorer, former Trustee, Bedford Free Public Library; Sandra Hackman, former Planning Board member; John Linz, former Board of Assessors member; and Janet Powers, former Planning Board member.

As former Bedford elected officials, we encourage you to approve the proposed rezoning described under Articles 6 and 7 in the Annual Town Meeting warrant.

Articles 6 and 7 are the culmination of a four-year public process to optimize the use of what had become an abandoned military residential enclave. Selectmen and members of the Planning Board and Housing Trust, propelled by a consensus from open deliberations attended by well over 100 citizens, have invested careful and creative thinking. They successfully negotiated with federal agencies that previously had been content to let the empty houses decay. And they have crafted an attractive plan with modest school, neighborhood and traffic impacts, that includes a diversity of smaller housing types. Articles 6 and 7 will amend the zoning bylaw to permit execution of that plan.

Town Meeting approval will enable consideration of this pocket community, with shared green space, that will address many of the town’s housing priorities, aimed at not only longtime residents looking to downsize but also senior citizens, the disabled, and buyers looking for housing options priced well below the current Bedford median home price. In addition, more than 10 percent will be added to the town’s affordable housing inventory.

Housing diversity is a key component of the Bedford Comprehensive Plan; please join us in helping achieve that significant goal.

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