Help preserve Bedford’s assets

To the Editor:

Do you picture a box store being built next to your house? How about a four-story apartment building?

On Monday, Jan. 23, the Planning Board will review a proposed zoning amendment that will be on our town ballot in March. The amendment seeks to change a 19-acre parcel of land on Old Bedford Road from Residential/ Agricultural to Commercial. This is bad for Bedford. It is not being proposed by the Town, but rather by a developer who is looking to make money. You need to fight this type of action by attending the meeting on Jan. 23 and showing the Planning Board your opposition. It could happen in your back yard next. Anyone can put together a proposed zoning amendment to zoning simply by collecting a handful of signatures and submitting them to Town Hall by the posted deadlines. This is not the way to zone our town. It is unsystematic and is driven by personal interest rather than long-term vision for the good of our community.

In recent years, Bedford has received recognition in national publications as being one of the best places to live IN THE COUNTRY. (#21 in "Best Places to Live in 2015" by Money magazine, the only NH town to crack the top 50.) Location, crime rate, proximity to employment opportunities, and quaint New England charm are all factors that add to our desirability. And of course our school system, which has also received high praise. The organization "Niche" just rated the Bedford school district second best in the state.

As a community, we are flying high. So now, more than ever, we must be vigilant about preserving our assets. If we allow vulture developers to rape and pillage our residential areas, there will be no going back. We will forever alter the rural feel of our community, one of the unique characteristics of our special town, and a value that was identified in our town Master Plan as being a priority.

I don’t want to live surrounded by pharmacies, banks and strip malls and I don’t believe that most of the citizens of Bedford do either. But you cannot sit back complacent and assume that your neighborhood is safe. You must let the Planning Board know how you feel.

Please attend the Town of Bedford Planning Board meeting on Monday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. at the BCTV Meeting Room. For more information:

Amy Lapointe