West Tisbury to vote on accessory dwelling units

The West Tisbury Special Town Meeting is scheduled for Nov. 14 at West Tisbury School. —MV Times

West Tisbury will be voting soon on whether to fund a pilot program for accessory dwelling units, often called ADUs.

West Tisbury will hold a special town meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 6 pm at the West Tisbury School. The town’s select board recently approved the special town meeting warrant. 

The last day to register to vote for the special town meeting is on Friday, Nov. 3, at 5 pm.

A major warrant article for the town’s voters to consider is whether West TIsbury should raise and appropriate $250,000 for a proposed ADU pilot program. The funds would be given to and expended by the West Tisbury Affordable Housing Trust. 

According to the warrant article, the program aims to promote both year-round housing and housing affordability to households earning up to 150 percent of the area median income of Dukes County (According to the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority, 150 percent of the median income for a family of four on the Island is $195,300 in 2023).

Under the program. the housing trust would be able to offer forgivable loans up to $25,000 for the development of an ADU on a resident’s property. When considering projects for funding, West Tisbury will use “town or regional master plans, wastewater plans, watershed management plans, open space plans, and climate and energy goals” as guidelines. 

However, the pilot program is contingent upon a separate warrant article for a home-rule petition that would allow the town’s affordable housing trust to expend funds to the ADU pilot program to be used by households earning up to 150 percent of the area median income.

Further details about the proposed ADU pilot program can be found at https://bit.ly/3MoTYXN

Most of the 13-article warrant dealt primarily with monetary and fiscal issues, such as appropriating $20,000 in free cash for legal services and creating an Opioid Settlement Stabilization Fund. 

Other articles included bylaw amendments, like a request to change the membership structure to the West Tisbury Capital Improvement Planning Committee and changing the last day for dogs on Lambert’s Cove Beach from Sept. 15 to Labor Day.