O.B. voters approve all at special town meeting

Two affordable housing units are coming to Oak Bluffs.

Oak Bluffs voters approved each article at their special town meeting Tuesday night. — Brian Dowd

Oak Bluffs voters approved all six articles on their special town meeting warrant Tuesday night.

Voters swiftly approved an article that conveys two town-owned parcels, one located at 3 Eastville Ave. and another abutting 18 Prospect Ave., labeled 0 Prospect Ave. on assessor maps, for affordable housing. Neither parcel has clear title, preventing them from getting title insurance and bank financing, but the town will enlist Habitat for Humanity, which does not need bank financing, to build the homes. Homeownership preference will be given to Oak Bluffs families.

MacGregor Anderson, the town’s principal assessor, told voters that the lots, which are both 5,000 square feet, are allowed to be built on. The lots are exempt from zoning bylaws as long as they stay as affordable housing. The size of the homes will be determined on what the lots can handle in terms of wastewater flow.

Voters also agreed to spend $22,500 to pay for an assessing clerk position for the current fiscal year. The position is to assist MacGregor Anderson as the town explores the possibility of a residential exemption, which would reduce the taxable value of all residential parcels that are determined to be the domicile of the owner.

One of the largest funding requests of the night was a $689,770 match for the town’s Municipal Vulnerability Action grant from the state to conduct beach nourishment and groin replacement at the North Bluff Beach. The total project budget is $2.7 million and required a 25 percent match from the town.

Voters also approved $600,000 to pay for engineering work on the initiation of the wastewater treatment facility conceptual design, layout of sewers, and other planning designs for wastewater infrastructure, $10,000 for the upkeep of Oak Grove Cemetery, and increasing the number of elected constables from two to three starting with the 2020 annual town meeting.