Block Island Times

Planning Board tackles amending ordinances

The Planning Board also took up the subject of affordable and attainable housing at its meeting on Monday, May 9. As opposed to the workshop the Town Councilheld, this meeting mainly focused on specific language housing advocate Chris Warfel had proposed to amend section 513 of the zoning regulations concerning accessory apartments for year-round residents.At the outset of the meeting though, Warfel said he had gotten some things wrong – “unintended” mistakes.Town Planner Alison Ring, who had prepared a memo on the draft language had picked up on the problem already, writing that “by eliminating the distinction between affordable accessory apartments, and accessory apartments, the draft revisions seem to intend that all residential 513s created would be deed-restricted [i.e. affordable]and for occupancy only for income eligible year-round residents.” In introducing her memo, Ring noted that the Planning Board had already been working on amending the 513 section and that some of the ideas overlapped.Most of the amended language proposed by Warfel entailed substituting the phrase “attainable/affordable housing” for “accessory apartment.” He agreed that the two types of housing would need to treated separately in the regulations. “There was a fundamental error in the way I approached it,” he

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