Lately we have read about newly proposed or revised projects for Bedford’s river corridor which include multiple apartment units.

“Market & Main” has presented a revised plan with more apartments because they apparently could not get commitments for the commercial properties they had originally planned. Other than a comment about “bait and switch”, nothing was said to them about the fact this proposal would not comply with current zoning rules.

A new conceptual plan eliminates the cinema, hotel, medical office building and parking garage and instead calls for 290 apartments, consisting of 116 studio units, 116 one-bedroom units and 58 two-bedroom units.

Developers for “Circle Drive” at Sebbins Brook Crossing, when presenting to the Planning Board, acted completely oblivious to current zoning even though the UL reported “Cameron General Contractors will be seeking a waiver to allow for the proposed construction of an elderly housing facility in the town’s performance zone, as well as a waiver from the 25 percent workforce housing requirement…”

They were asked to go back to the drawing board, but in our opinion that message was not strong enough.

What is important here is the Bedford Planning Board needs to emphasize more the fact that all of the above-mentioned projects are not in compliance with current zoning. Those zoning restrictions were voted in for a reason. The Planning Board has the all the tools it needs to be able to simply say “no” to these projects.

If the Planning Board does not enforce rules according to what was voted in March, they should be prepared for “peasants with pitchforks” and more, at future Planning Board meetings.