The Block Island Times

Call for affordable housing candidates

By Stephanie Turaj | Dec 27, 2012

The Housing Board has a new project in the works, and wants your opinion. It will hold an open forum for members of the public, especially those who are potential candidates for affordable housing, on January 12 at 12 p.m.

The Housing Board plans to construct an affordable housing development on the “Brown-Smith” parcel, located on Cooneymus Road (plat 14, lot 55). The board is looking at four to five dwelling units, said board member Millie McGinnes, but it would like suggestions on this number.

Board member John Spier said the zoning ordinances that govern the affordable housing options are currently in transition and being re-worked, but based on a land survey and the board's knowledge of the direction the ordinance seems to be going, four to five dwelling units seems to be the best guess.

"We're looking for feedback," said McGinnes. "We're not designing yet."

Feedback is needed for what the public would like to see in terms of parking options, the number of bedrooms, the layout of the development (standalone houses, duplex or cluster houses) and any other ideas people may have.

At past meetings, members weren't too inclined to offer rental units as opposed to for-sale units, because they felt that the location, in the Residential A zone further from town, would not be best suited to rentals. They are open to suggestions on this as well.

The Housing Board acquired the 4.5-acre Brown-Smith parcel from Marianne Brown and Steve Smith in 2008.

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