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Top Stories 2019: Vineyard View breaks ground; affordable housing in spotlight

Construction got underway this spring for Vineyard View, a housing complex that will bring 50 affordable apartments to County Road 48 in Greenport.

The complex will be a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units with a 2,649-square-foot community center just east of San Simeon by the Sound in Greenport.

The units will be offered for rent at rates set by the federal government based on income; half will remain affordable in perpetuity. It’s expected to be completed in late 2020.

The project is the result of a partnership between the Community Development Corporation of Long Island and developers Conifer Realty, who opened the affordable Peconic Crossing apartments in downtown Riverhead in 2018. Officials have touted the project as a step toward addressing the need for affordable housing on the increasingly expensive North Fork.

It’s not the only project in the works for Southold.

Developer Todd Feuerstein hopes to bring 12 affordable apartments to downtown Southold on the flag lot property located just east of Town Hall.

He said the location was ideal for both providing the affordable housing option and promoting downtown walkability, a goal outlined in the town’s recently completed comprehensive plan. To date, no official application has been submitted to the planning department.

Elected officials also sought several code changes to promote housing locally, including a measure to prioritize volunteer first-responders on the town’s affordable housing registry.

Officials also considered a code change to allow accessory apartments in single-family homes that are not the owners’ “primary” residence, but withdrew the proposal in response to community concerns.

Affordable housing was also the subject of the first “Times Review Talks” panel discussion event in March, which drew input from business owners, builders, real estate professionals, local government officials and other community members on a range of topics from the housing market and wages to sewage and zoning issues.