The Real Deal Tristate

East Hampton eyes more affordable housing with apartment rule change

May 30, 2019 06:24PM

East Hampton Town officials hope to spur residents to create more affordable rental options by reducing the minimum lot size required for a homeowner to create an accessory apartment in a detached structure, according to 27east. If adopted, the minimum size would drop from 40,000 square feet to 30,000 square feet. The reduction would create 1,400 more eligible sites for affordable housing, either via an existing structure or the construction of a new one. The proposed law, which will get a public hearing on June 6, would still restrict the number of new accessory apartments in each of East Hampton’s school districts to 20. The original law allowed accessory apartments only within owner-occupied homes, but few homeowners took advantage of it. In 2016, East Hampton adopted amended rules for accessory apartments, but fears of overcrowding and clogged sewer systems prompted the town to increase the minimum lot size from a half-acre to 40,000 square feet. Under those rules, apartments can’t be less than 300 square feet or more than 600 square feet. Since the town first adopted its accessory apartment rules, only 22 have been created and a few more are “in the works,” said East Hampton housing director Tom Ruhle. [27east]