Public forum Wednesday for Meshacket Way affordable housing project

The Edgartown affordable housing committee will outline a revised plan that mixes rental units and private homes.|

A draft siting plan for the five-building, 30-unit rental project in Edgartown. — Courtesy Edgartown Affordable Ho

The Edgartown affordable housing committee will present a revised plan for an affordable housing project planned for a town-owned parcel off Meshacket Way at a public forum on Wednesday, March 25, scheduled to begin at 6 pm in the selectmen’s meeting room in town hall.

A proposal presented last year for five rental apartment buildings with a total of 52 bedrooms on the nine-acre lot and no private homes generated opposition. On Wednesday, the affordable housing committee will present a scaled-down plan, though still focused primarily on rental housing. It calls for a mixed-use development that includes three apartment buildings, with a total of 42 bedrooms for rental to Island residents, according to income guidelines.

“We have scaled the number of bedrooms back by 20 percent, incorporated three single-family home ownership opportunities, and have made plans to screen the buildings as much as possible from public view,” the committee wrote in a letter inviting Edgartown residents to the public forum. “We have also divided the rental components into three small portions: workforce housing, senior housing, and family housing.”

When the 2012 annual town meeting authorized funds to begin the project, the discussion focused on creating nine building lots to be sold at below-market rates to qualified buyers who would then build their own homes.

The committee said it ran into engineering and environmental limitations which changed the original concept. The Martha’s Vineyard 2014 Housing Needs Assessment also swayed the committee’s view. That study, funded by the six Island towns, highlighted a greater need for rental units, according to committee members.

The parcel, assessed at $487,000 according to assessors’ records, was taken by the town when the owner failed to pay the taxes due.