The Bedford Planning Board unanimously approved a site plan for a proposed laboratory/research and development building at Werfen, the 350,000-square-foot complex at 180 Hartwell Rd. last Tuesday.
The plan entails construction of a 118,692-square-foot, two-story building and demolition of a warehouse at the rear of the property that for many years was the Missile Systems Division of Raytheon Co. The plan includes a gym and covered bicycle storage.
Werfen, based in Barcelona, is a global company specializing in hemostasis, acute care diagnostics, and autoimmunity. Until recent rebranding, the company was known as Instrumentation Laboratory.
The project is pending approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals and Department of Public Works and will require consideration by the Conservation Commission because of proximity to Elm Brook and the possible impact of construction there, as well as upon the neighboring wetlands, and flood plain.
Attorney Michel Wigney spoke on behalf of the property’s abutters at the Hartwell Farms condominium complex. She explained that the abutters want a written commitment from Werfen that it will make an effort to control noise levels at the loading dock, particularly in the early morning.
She added that abutters have requested vegetation be added to the area outside of the loading dock to provide more privacy and reduce the impact of lighting from the parking lot.
Attorney Pamela Brown, representing Werfen, highlighted the fact that the lighting levels in the plan are already lower than the levels that were present when Raytheon was at the property. Civil engineer Brian Reiss assured the abutters that Werfen has committed to working with its neighbors.
Werfen also has requested relief from the Industrial A district’s floor ratio requirements as the buildings are non-conforming. Town Planning Director Tony Fields explained that concerns regarding the floor-area ratio and lighting will be addressed during the upcoming Zoning Board of Appeals meeting.
There are also plans to eventually add a new employee deck to the property. Engineers representing Werfen told the board that traffic studies have been conducted. Brown confirmed that the Fire Department’s requirement for 360-degree access for emergency vehicles has been met.
In answer to a question from Planning Board member Todd Crowley, it was confirmed that parking is surface level and is not at risk of serious flooding. Board Chair Steven Hagan expressed his enthusiasm for the project and commended Werfen’s efforts in the community.