2008-10-16 / News

Panel recommends affordable housing duplex to Planning Commission

By Sam Bari

John Lawless, a property owner at 14 Pemberton Ave., presented a proposal to the Affordable Housing Committee to subdivide his property and sell the existing dwelling as an affordable housing unit.

The proposal was well received by the panel at the Oct. 8 Affordable Housing Committee meeting. A motion was unanimously passed to recommend the proposal to the planning commission.

Lawless approached the town last May about developing the 26,405 square foot lot, although it lacks frontage and will need relief. His comprehensive permit application proposes to subdivide the property into two lots. The existing two-bedroom house will remain as an affordable housing unit on one lot, while a new, single family dwelling will be built on the other.

Christian Belden from Church Community Housing attended the meeting and confirmed that Church housing is willing to purchase the house for $175,000 and sell it as an affordable housing unit for $150,000.

The existing house is serviced by a well. Both lots will use town sewer facilities. The parcel meets the criteria to be eligible for affordable housing. The planning commission must approve the application because it is the sole authority governing all permits.

The application will be reviewed at the Nov. 5 planning commission meeting. The property, which is in a CL zone, requires a comprehensive permit.

Town Planner Lisa Bryer said, "In reality, the property is large enough to be eligible to be a duplex by right." Lawless said he would like to see it go into the pool of eligible Jamestown resident buyers. A motion unanimously passed to give first preference to Jamestown buyers.

During the remainder of the meeting, the town planner reviewed the affordable housing zoning ordinance, which is a work in progress, and explained the definitions in the proposed "Smart Code."

Contracted consultants Donald Powers Architects, Inc., and Sandy Sorlien, who worked with the town planning office on the document, prepared the first draft of the proposed changes to the Jamestown Zoning Ordinance.

Bryer said that the final draft would be presented to the Town Council some time in November if all goes well. She explained that there is plenty of time and opportunity for public input on all of the proposed changes.

Return to top