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Office Park Approved at Former Deer Park Tavern Site

A wrap-up of recent planning board developments.

The Bedford planning board approved last week plans for a new as well as a 7,000-square-foot office building to replace the landmark Deer Park Tavern, destroyed in a January 2010 fire, and a proposed change to the exterior lights at Key Bank on Bedford Road.

In addition, board members heard from neighbors of Stepping Stones—the former home of Alcoholics Anonymous founder Bill Wilson and his wife, Lois—who are unhappy with, among other things, plans to install a 14-space parking area.

Office building. Eighteen months after his popular restaurant, the Deer Park Tavern, , Roy Reeves won approval to replace it with a two-story, 7,000-square-foot office building on the same site, off Route 35 near Route 22. While then planning board had readily embraced the broad outlines of the fine points involving parking, land-use restrictions and other issues had required multiple trips to both the planning and zoning boards for resolution.

Key Bank. With a last-minute change to brighten rear-lot illumination, the board approved revisions that generally tone down Key Bank’s exterior lighting scheme. “It’s your bank that got us started [rewriting the ],” the board’s chairman, Donald Coe, told officials of Key Bank, which gleams in the nighttime darkness of Bedford Road. In a concession to security, the board boosted the output of lights covering the rear parking area from 0.1 to 0.5 footcandle.

Stepping Stones. Longtime neighbors led by Diane S. Briganti opposed the parking lot proposed by Stepping Stones executive director Annah Perch. “I can see Annah’s house from where I live,” Briganti said. “Will I see cars parked there? Of course I will.” She and a couple who live nearby appeared Tuesday to oppose a special-use permit by the town board, which has asked the planning board for advice on the matter. A half-dozen neighbors turned out for an April town board meeting, complaining that traffic, parking and crowds have become “horrendous” at Stepping Stones, a mecca for the world’s recovering alcoholics.

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