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Planning Board outlines recommendations for accessory apartment law

The Southold Town Planning Board last Monday formalized recommendations to the Town Board on an accessory apartment local law, which was on the Town Board’s docket for review last Tuesday.

Planning Board member Mary Eisenstein raised a few questions that she said must be viewed from a planning perspective, and should be extended to the Town Board for consideration. The local law was to be voted on last Tuesday, but Town Board members tabled the resolution.

“If our second home ownership is both growing and our aging population is going to grow, then, as people want to downsize will that be an issue?” Ms. Eisenstein asked. “That more apartments will happen because people want to downsize? Is density an issue? Who do we need to take care of? Do we need to pay attention to having enough housing for younger people and people who are going to downsize?”

She asked how accessory apartment use and trends will be monitored and acted upon, stressing the importance of avoiding oversaturation.

The board agreed to recommend that language be added to the local law to make the renter of an accessory unit the primary resident and to make it so that the unit is their year-round occupancy.

“Any piece of legislation that gets passed, has the potential to pass, can become a target for people with no scruples,” said board member James Rich III.

The goal, Planning Chair Don Wilcenski said, is to “try to create more rental and affordable apartments for people who live here and work here.”

Photo caption: Planning Chair Don Wilcenski at last Tuesday’s meeting. (Credit: Mahreen Khan)

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