Historical Commission considers two projects

The Historical Commission on May 15 reviewed a minor change to a planned renovation at 21-23 Bedford Road and reviewed plans for a garage expansion and landscaping project at 11 East Street. 

21-23 Bedford Road

Commission member Eric Adams moved to the applicant side of the table to discuss the approval process for the planned renovation/rebuild project at 21-23 Bedford Road, the vacant old house across the street from Gleason Library. He provided the Historical Commission with revised exterior elevation plans, the only change being the movement of a door on the street-facing façade where the barn and house are to be joined. Adams’ proposal moves the door to the left about three feet. He explained that if the door stays where it is, it will disturb the flow of the interior units and also pointed out that, “This change needs to be made because it is necessary to create a fire separation inside between the proposed office space and the staircase leading to the residential units.” The goal is to rent two units and have office space on the first floor. “We don’t want people to go through [an] office to get upstairs” said Adams. After reviewing the plans, the commission approved moving the door. 

Adams then stated that he is going before the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) on June 3 with a draft site plan that will satisfy the parking requirement of 21 spaces. 

“What do we need from this commission?” asked Commission member Geoffrey Freeman. “We want to move this project; the town wants to move this project. You are maintaining everything that has been presented to us.” 

Adams responded, “Historic preservation bylaw does not reference zoning requirements for parking. What I am asking tonight is for any of you who are able and interested, to attend the ZBA on June 3. If everything goes well, we wait 45 days, go to the Registrar of Deeds then the Board of Health, and then get started. Would love to get framed before the snow.” 

Chair Kathy Kelly said, “This looks really exciting. Can’t wait for you to get started.” “It’s been a long haul,” said Freeman. The commission voted to send a letter of support to the ZBA. 

11 East Street

Shelley Dweck and Ted Van Valey described hardscaping plans for their property at 11 East Street. The plans are not final and Dweck and Van Valy said they are not seeking to obtain approval at this meeting but would like guidance and input. On the list of proposed work to be done is expansion of the garage with possibly three bays and a guest parking turnaround area. They also propose a front walkway and new garden beds to frame the area between the front of the house as well as a low rough stone wall. The material planned for the walkway is crushed gravel with granite cobble edging, depending on final cost estimates. Freeman said, “Granite edging is fine.” Another part of the proposed project is a stone patio with a path from the front entrance to the patio, which will be situated on the right side facing the house. Dweck and Van Valey told the commission that they would like to add lighting on wood posts. “Would be interesting to see what lights are being proposed,” commented Freeman. When asked for a suggestion, Freeman talked about lighting from within a tree as opposed to a post. Dweck and Van Valey said they will come back with lighting pictures. Comments from Historical Commission members regarding the overall plan were, “looks great,” “looks very nice.” The commission continued the hearing to the June 12 meeting. Dweck and Van Valey will have appeared before the Conservation Commission before that time. ∆