Town expresses interest in Fishers Island affordable housing plan

CYNDI MURRAY FILE PHOTO | The Town is considering amending its zoning code to allow a proposal to construct an affordable housing complex on Fishers Island.

Southold Town is considering changing the zoning on a parcel of land on Fishers Island to accommodate an affordable housing complex, according to planning director Heather Lanza.

During Tuesday’s Town Board work session, Ms. Lanza, accompanied by special project coordinator Phillip Beltz, requested that board members change the zoning from a residential district to an affordable housing district. The amendment is required to permit construction of a proposed three-unit complex, Ms. Lanza said.

Fishers Island resident Katharine Sanger, the owner of the 3/4 acre property located near the community center, first proposed the concept to Mr. Beltz in August. The proposed complex includes a one-bedroom apartment, a two-bedroom apartment and a one-bedroom apartment with an attached studio, Mr. Beltz said.

“[Ms. Sanger] is not doing it to make money on rentals,” Mr. Beltz said after the meeting. “She is doing it for the purpose of creating affordable housing because it’s needed on Fishers Island.”

Still in its preliminary phase, a site plan for the affordable housing proposal has not yet been submitted to the town, Mr. Beltz said. Ms. Sanger would develop the units privately with guidance from town — which recently allocated $10,000 in Suffolk County Community Block Grant funding to help the project move forward, Mr. Beltz said.

Town board members expressed interest in moving forward with the project, but requested that members of the planning department and Mr. Beltz work with Ms. Sanger to submit a preliminary building plan before any official action is taken.

“There is a need for this,”councilwoman and Fisher Island Justice Louisa Evans said. “It is a project that would be much appreciated by Fishers Island.”

[email protected]