Planning Board Considers Two-Family Dwelling at 60 Great Rd.

June 28, 2023

With two-family dwellings much in the public eye these days, coincidentally the Bedford Planning Board held a public hearing at their Tuesday night meeting to consider an application for a special permit for “horizontal mixed use” to construct a two-family dwelling on the same lot as the existing office building at 60 The Great Road.

The building at 60 Great Road, formerly the Leader Federal Savings Bank on the corner of Great and Fletcher roads, is owned by Peg and Ted Bernhardt, who for 17 years have operated a home services company – Right at Home at that location.

Attorney Pam Brown, representing Care Enterprises LLC, (Peg and Ted Bernhardt) outlined the proposal: the 23,500-square-foot lot extends front to back with a paved parking lot for 22 cars. The owners wish to construct a two-family residence at the rear of the parking lot with the units fronting onto Fletcher Road. The existing office building will remain.

Attorney Brown introduced Carlisle architect Barry Ganek, who showed the Board architectural drawings and a rendering of the home. Ganek stressed that the design of the dwelling was in the “Queen Anne/Victorian” style that would fit in well with the existing neighboring homes on Fletcher.

The residence would consist of two units, each with three bedrooms and two and a half baths, with a height of 2.5 stories (within the limit for the Great Road area). Each unit would be 2,400 square feet in total, which would include approx. 500 square feet for the partially finished attic with a separate basement and garage. The current thought is to offer these as rental units.

Ganek stressed that “the appearance of the building is very much in keeping with the height, the size, the massing of nearby structures. It’s very similar to the houses at 34 and 38 Fletcher Rd. We’re suggesting a mix of materials and sidings with some decorative trim and tracery around the farmer porches. The house fronts on the street so we are not seeing driveways and garages. With three bedrooms, these units would be aimed at families.”  

The Board spent some time discussing the parking lot, which is rarely filled today, asking if it would be possible to reduce the number of parking spaces and provide more green space. Since this was the first public hearing on the matter, there will be much more discussion to come. 

Overall, the Board appeared to favor the proposal. Member Jacinda Barbehenn stated positively, “This is a great concept and I think we should try to make it work.”

Chair Steve Hagan said, “I support the project. There are many nuances to work out but it’s a great idea.  Thanks to the applicant for investing the amount of money already to get it this far along.”

Attorney Brown requested a continuation of the hearing on this project. The motion to continue to July 11 passed.

Attorney Brown also requested a continuation of the public hearing on the development on Old Billerica Road to July 11. That was granted as well.

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