BEDFORD — The Primrose School at Bedford Hills is seeking final approval of a site plan amendment to build a 12,700-square-foot preschool and kindergarten for ages 6 weeks to 6 years old near the intersection of Old Bedford Road and Route 101.
Although the school will have minimal impact on traffic count at the intersection, it could affect left-hand turns at Olde Bedford Way and Carlyle Place.
The application goes before the Planning Board on Monday, Aug. 12, at 7 p.m. at the Bedford Meeting Room, 3 Meetinghouse Road. The original plan was for a 10,305-square-foot facility. The initial site plan for a school was approved in 2012, but lacked a tenant. Primrose Schools, which is headquartered in Acworth, Ga., expressed interest and requires a larger building, a reconfigured parking lot and a 14,500-square-foot outdoor playground to accommodate about 182 students.
The plan will increase traffic in the area by about 33 trips per weekday, according to a traffic report.
"Given the extended queues that the Dunkin' Donuts and the school add to the project, the state may require additional mitigation measures, such as making Carlyle Place and Olde Bedford Way right in and right out only," said Rick Sawyer, town planning director. "We continue to encourage the applicant to meet with the state so that the traffic demands of this site can be relayed, and the improvements can be best coordinated and integrated with the state improvements planned to start construction in 2015."
A July 22 letter from Robin Bousa of Vanasse Hangen Brustlin to Jim Stanford, the town's public works director, said although the school will have a minimal affect on traffic flow, any additional traffic added to the intersection of Route 101 and Old Bedford Road will contribute to the anticipated traffic problems along Route 101 eastbound and could complicate left-hand turns to and from the Olde Bedford Way and Carlyle Place.
These issues were noted in Vanasse Hangen Brustlin technical report in response to Bedford Hills' replacement of a Popovers Restaurant with Dunkin' Donuts in 2012, Bousa said.
The state is expected to address long-term improvements to the Route 101 corridor near the Bedford Hills development.
"However, the build out of the Bedford Hills project is likely to occur prior to completion of the state's long-term improvements, currently scheduled for 2017. Previous queue calculations provided by the applicant's traffic engineer indicate that vehicles on Route 101 eastbound will routinely stack through the intersection of Olde Bedford Way and Carlyle Place during peak hour conditions," Bousa said.
The Bedford Hills project has gone before the Planning Board for several projects. In March 2009, the board approved a final site plan to subdivide one 40-acre lot into seven for a mixed-use development at Bedford Hills for 160 elderly housing units, 84 assisted-living units and 81,848 square feet of commercial space on Old Bedford Road and Route 101. The approval allowed each building its own lot for financing and development purposes. In April 2012, the board approved 144 units of work force housing, an 81,434-square-foot office building, and a 10,305-square-foot preschool/day care facility.
The site now includes the Copper Door Restaurant and Bellwether Credit Union. Construction is also under way for a 13,000-square-foot state liquor store and a 2,070-square-foot Dunkin' Donuts. The original site was a vacant, wooded lot with a private road known as Corporate Drive. The property is owned by the Order of Saint Benedict of New Hampshire, which is headquartered at Saint Anselm College.
According to the company website, www.primroseschools.com, Primrose Schools is a franchise that offers preschool and kindergarten programs, and after-school programs for children up to 12 years old.