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Residents raise concerns over proposed subdivision in Bedford

BEDFORD — Speeding traffic and poor visibility are some concerns abutters voiced to the Planning Board about a proposed seven-lot subdivision on McAllister Road.

At its meeting on Monday, the board also approved a driveway off Nashua Road for the Bedford Village Shoppes, an outdoor patio at Tek-Nique restaurant, and extended Thanksgiving holiday shopping hours at Target on South River Road.

Ray Shea, of Sandford Surveying and Engineering, presented the conceptual plan for a 980-foot cul-de-sac off McAllister Road to access the proposed subdivision containing seven homes, including an existing house lot.

Shea was speaking on behalf of property owner Bryant Lahey.

Shea said the plan presents challenges because of traffic line of sight and wetlands.

"Wallace Road is not a viable access because of wetland," he said.

Several residents voiced concerns about safety. The lot slopes down from east to west from a high point near McAllister Road.

"That's a very dangerous spot right now. I can tell you for someone with four small kids and with a bus stop that's at the end of my driveway at McAllister and Pasture (Lane), my kids can't go out there by themselves," said abutter Sean Flanagan. "The slope that comes down from Wallace, you'd be surprised at the number of cars that barely make that turn."

He said there's been an increase in traffic, especially with the new Market Basket, snow piles in winter and a nearby development.

Other concerns from abutters included a potential increase in water run off to properties along McAllister Road, poor traffic line of sight on several roads, a consistent dip in a road on Pasture Lane creating a need for wide turns to McAllister, and speeding traffic.

The existing site is mostly wooded with an existing house built in 1936 and a barn at the northeast corner of the lot. The land is zoned residential and agricultural, and requires lots be at least 1.5 acres and have 150 feet of frontage.

The board agreed to conduct an on-site review of the property, which does not mean approval of the plan, said Planning Board chairman Paul Goldberg.

Alan Clark, on behalf of property owners Bedford Village Shoppes Condominium Association, went before the board seeking site plan approval to build a 22-foot driveway from Nashua Road into the rear parking area of the shopping center, and adding a 25-foot by 48-foot, 72-seat outdoor patio at Tek-Nique. The existing restaurant has a capacity of about 110 guests.

"It's the hope the patio would increase the summer business for the restaurant, which historically is a slower period for business," Clark said.

The patio is expected to add about 19 additional traffic trips during evening peak hours, he said.

The board approved two waivers — building a driveway off Nashua Road for the Bedford Village Shoppes within a 30-foot boundary setback, giving the town's planning director discretion on the final location; and the relocation of Tek-Nique restaurant's Dumpster. The plan had proposed a third waiver of no screening around the Dumpster but it was withdrawn by the applicant. The Dumpster will be located about 100 feet from the patio.

In questioning the distance from the Dumpster to the patio, Councilor Bill Dermody said: "Is it within smell distance? That's not the technical term."

After some discussion about the required 400 feet line of sight distance entering and exiting the driveway, Clark said he wants to make sure all requirements will be met.

The property is served by a well and a septic system, which needs replacement.

"The septic system at Bedford Village Shoppes is in failure so we're in the process of connecting to municipal sewer on Nashua Road and bringing water from Pennichuck Water Works," said Clark. "This will certainly be a plus for the Bedford Village Shoppes as well as improve fire department capabilities."

The driveway plan would remove 17 parking spaces in the back area to be replaced with green space.

Patrick Chaffee, acting store team leader for Target Corp., was granted approval to permanently extend the store's shopping hours from 7 a.m. on Thanksgiving to 10 p.m. the following day. The store must meet the condition that it coordinates coverage with the police department.

"Every year at this time, we get a request for extended hours. This makes it more permanent. It's just a formality," Goldberg said.

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