Chilmark planning board proposes allowing accessory apartments


The Chilmark planning board is considering a draft bylaw that would allow the creation of one accessory apartment per owner-occupied lot provided the apartment is rented to affordable housing-eligible year-round residents or to family and caregivers. Rents cannot exceed the annual maximum set by the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority.

The planning board will discuss the draft when it meets on July 14.

The bylaw is intended “to help provide affordable year-round rental housing opportunities within the context of Chilmark’s predominately single-family home character, to provide housing for an owner’s children, grandchildren, parents, in-laws, and caregivers, and to provide an opportunity for supplemental income to senior citizens and other homeowners domiciled in Chilmark who might otherwise find it difficult to remain in their homes due to increasing energy and maintenance costs and/or concerns about security and health.”

To comply, the lot owner must live year-round in Chilmark in either the main dwelling or the apartment, which cannot exceed 800 square feet or have an entrance on the same side as the main house, “with the goal of retaining the appearance of a single-family residence,” reads the draft.