Town Boards to Continue Digesting Carlisle Road Housing Proposal

The Housing Partnership is scheduled to resume discussion on Dec. 6 of a proposed 153-unit mixed housing development off Carlisle Road.

The plan by Brian DeVellis, attorney and landscape architect, involves development of 35 acres on the north side of Carlisle Road, a little east of the town compost center across the street. 

Single-family houses would front the street with duplexes, townhouses, and a three-story, 36-unit senior housing apartment building along a loop road in the interior.

DeVellis, who grew up in Bedford, said the plan is in response to priorities defined in the town’s 2019 housing study. 

“The town has said it wants this, it needs to do this,” he pointed out, adding that he hopes to partner with the town to realize the objectives.

He is presenting the proposal as a Local Initiative Project (LIP) under state law, requiring at least 25 percent of the units be designated as affordable under state criteria.

The LIP process means that endorsement by the Housing Partnership, Select Board, and state Department of Housing and Community Development would place the proposal on the agenda of the Zoning Board of Appeals for a comprehensive permit. 

Although DeVellis also has been seeking feedback from the Planning Board, the LIP allows a project to bypass zoning density limitations.

DeVellis said he hopes the proposal is on a Select Board agenda in January. 

“We’ve been working diligently with the town,” he said, noting that he has made some changes to the plan, such as locations for the meeting house and snow storage, based on feedback.

Neighbors on Carlisle Road “have valid concerns, and we have valid responses,” DeVellis said, referencing his past success with Bedford projects, such as the Edge sports center on Hartwell Road and the residential street Sweeney Ridge Road. 

There are now traffic and drainage studies addressing Carlisle Road, he said. “I think we have a plan that works and it addresses all the points that the town has wanted. Hopefully, we also have a financial plan that works.”

He said he is working on a breakdown of affordable units – some for rent and some for sale – for the Housing Partnership to consider. The apartments are all targeted to be rentals, he noted.

DeVellis noted that he has owned the property for a year, and normally would try to move the process faster. 

“I’m trying to make this a legacy project,” he said. “I’m taking more time because it’s near and dear to my heart.”

The mixture of housing types is important to the health of the town, DeVellis said. “We need people of modest income to live in the community. We need people to be in the town, and not just in their 5,000-square-foot box.”

Originally DeVellis also hoped to integrate into his project a “co-housing” facility on a separate 14-acre parcel closer to the intersection of Carlisle and North Roads.

Plans called for a single structure accommodating clusters of four individual bedrooms, each with a common kitchen, dining, and living space. 

However, DeVellis said, state officials aren’t ready to address that configuration in the context of LIP affordability requirements, so he decided to concentrate on the plans for mixed housing. If the DCHD is receptive to co-housing, “We’ll come back, hopefully sooner than later,” he said.

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Joe Damery
December 8, 2022 7:56 am

Methinks. the location could entail possible Flooding problems following any Large Snowstorms, sure to come… Co-Housing reminds me of living in a Barrack’s, as many of us, Oldsters well remember from our Service-Assignments in years past…

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