Sandwich Officials Consider Cottage Colony Conversion Bylaw

SANDWICH – A zoning bylaw that would govern conversions of seasonal cottage colonies into year-round rentals is being considered by Sandwich Town Planner Ralph Vitacco and the Planning Board.

Under the bylaw, a minimum of 10-percent of the converted cottages would be designated for those earning well below the median income of Barnstable County.

These year-round rentals would be available at an affordable price for those in this pay scale.

“Back in December we had a cottage colony conversion, and when it was presented to the planning board some of the members on the planning board wanted to put an affordable feature in it,” Vitacco said.

“We’re proposing a change to the bylaw to add an affordability restriction.”

Planning board members have discussed the proposal at mid-February and earl-March meetings.

Town Planner Ralph Vitacco said a public hearing on the matter is scheduled for April 2.

“When someone seeks to convert cottage colonies from seasonal use to year-round use, we’re going to require that 10-percent be set aside for affordable housing,” Vitacco said.

“Once it becomes in place anyone who wants to convert would become subject to that. Cottage colonies that have already converted are not subject to that bylaw.”

Vitacco says that the affordability requirement would also not apply to cottages under consideration by the planning board.

By TIM DUNN, News Center 

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