Assisted Living Facility Gets Variance for Increased Density

Team Business, represented by Atty. Morgan Hollis, has received a variance to increase the density of its planned assisted living project on Meadow Drive.

The request was granted for 58 units where 27 are allowed. One building is planned.

Hollis said at the Zoning Board of Adjustment’s Wednesday, Aug. 20 meeting that the assisted living facility will be located adjacent to an over 55 housing community that was approved for variances at the previous meeting.

“Although the uses, elderly housing and assisted living, are companion type uses, they are not from the same developer or operator, but are independent,” Hollis said. “It just so happens that because this site is such a problem site, finding compatible uses such as these has been difficult. Assisted living is a permitted use for this site.”

He said the difficulty is that the site is approximately 5 acres. “In order to develop a meaningful project, we’ve taken a look at the other projects that the client has successfully developed and what size you need and how many rooms you need to operate a facility of this type, and come up with a plan that fits on the site appropriately. That plan reflects 58 units,” Hollis said.

The proposal has already gone to the town’s planning staff for review.

Hollis said the facility is different than what the ordinance was meant for in that it is one building with 58 units, rather than many single buildings.

George Chadwick of Bedford Design Associates said the facility would have both two-bedroom units and single units. Unlike in an apartment complex, there would be less traffic, he said, and unlike in apartments, the units would not have kitchens. Residents would be provided with three meals a day within the facility.

The area is served by sewer, water and natural gas.

Board member Neil Dunn said 58 units with two bedrooms comes to 116 bedrooms. The developer is asking for 112 bedrooms because of some single units.

Chadwick said that unlike the over 55 community that required two bedrooms without a variance, the same was not the case in the assisted living regulations.

Board member Annette Stoller asked about other facilities built by the applicant, and architect Ben Wells said there were two similar facilities, one completed in December 2013 and a second under construction in Raynham, Mass.

An office will be located on site.

During deliberations board member Jim Tirabassi noted it was a need-based facility, not necessarily an age-based one.

Board member David Paquette noted a need for such a facility in the town’s Master Plan.

The board granted the variance unanimously.

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