Friday, February 26, 1999
Selectmen hear planning board's proposals
Two proposals are on the table to facilitate creation of affordable housing in town. At the selectmen's meeting on February 9, Michael Epstein of the planning board described two proposed amendments to the town's bylaws which would give incentives to developers to provide affordable housing.
The first proposal would be structured as an amendment to the open space neighborhood (OSN) bylaw, itself an item to be included in a Warrant article at the spring Town Meeting. (See article on page 1) If the town approves the OSN bylaw, the amendment would provide up to two bonus lots to a developer within an OSN if a lot or lots within the OSN subdivision are donated to the town for affordable housing. A bonus lot is one additional house lot over that which could be developed under the basic OSN rules.
The second proposal would be an amendment to the existing conservation cluster bylaw which would allow a bonus lot within a cluster if affordable housing is provided within the development.
Epstein stated that the planning board is looking for input and co-sponsorship from other town boards for these proposals, which are similar to bylaws in certain surrounding communities, because the planning board did not have the expertise to forward these amendments on its own. The issue of affordable housing is of interest to many town boards and the planning board wanted to start the ball rolling by putting some proposal on the table.
Selectman Burt Rubenstein commented that the municipal land committee was seeking creative ways to free up land for affordable housing. In addition, the proposals had the benefit of showing the state that the town has a mechanism in place to start developing affordable housing. Under state guidelines if a town does not have at least ten-percent affordable housing, a developer, under certain circumstances, may circumvent local zoning restrictions if affordable housing is included in his or her development.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito