Block Island Times

Breaking the ice on rentals

“Rentals are what is needed, and this is the (property) to try it on,” Housing Board Vice-Chair Rosemary Tobin told the board at its March 8 meeting. Tobin laid out the case for the development of rental units at the Ball O’Brien Property, which is next door to the E. Searles Ball property, itself a rental development.Tobin cited the higher density allowed on the property, as last year the Housing Board successfully lobbied to have the property zoning changed from Residential A to New Harbor Commercial. This required an amendment to the New Shoreham Comprehensive Plan to change the future land use map from low- density residential to high-density residential. This zoning change allows a bigger building footprint and higher density of occupants, and more matches the neighboring E. Searles Ball property.“It’s what the community needs. It’s not the formula, but we have got to break that ice at some point,” Tobin said. She also pointed out that the current Town Council seems willing to work with the board on the project.Chair Cindy Pappas agreed, calling the current climate the “perfect time.” She also mentioned the “groundswell” of support in the community that is coalescing around this issue.

Block Island Times – Read More>>