The Bedford Planning Board endorsed a concept draft of a proposed Local Initiative Project (LIP) on land off Carlisle Road on Tuesday.
The concept, first brought to the board in 2021, proposes more than 100 housing units, creating more diversified and affordable housing in Bedford.
As a LIP, it is exempt under state law from zoning density requirements because 25 percent of the units will meet the state’s definition of “affordable housing.” Once the plans receive approval from the Housing Partnership, the Select Board, and the state Department of Housing and Community Development, they advance to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a comprehensive permit.
Brian DeVellis, the attorney and landscape architect who owns the site, presented to the Planning Board, envisioning a “pedestrian-friendly” neighborhood of single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes, a townhouse, and a three-story 36-unit senior housing apartment building spread across 35 acres.
The plan calls for 139 housing units with 1.8 parking spaces per unit. DeVellis expressed his hope that the project would promote generational, racial, ethnic, and socio-economic diversity in Bedford.
Planning Board member Jacinda Barbehenn expressed enthusiasm for the project. Board member Todd Crowley asked if the project would negatively impact nearby wetlands, and DeVellis assured him that the current plans are within conservation regulations.
Crowley asked if the development would qualify to meet the new state law requiring zoning for multi-family housing in MBTA towns and cities. Town Planner Tony Fields said that the development may not apply due to its proximity to wetlands; the guidelines explicitly state that applicable housing must be on “uplands.”
The board agreed that Fields, with input from the developer, will draft a letter offering their endorsement of a concept draft of the project.