OLD LYME — The Board of Selectmen appointed a special committee on Monday night tasked with researching and making recommendations on affordable housing in Old Lyme.
The selectmen voted to appoint seven town residents as regular members of the Affordable Housing Exploratory Committee: John Coughlin, Michael Fogliano, Thomas Ortoleva, Harold Thompson, Tammy Tinnerello, Karen Winters, and John Zaccaro. Two alternate members were also selected: Peter Cable and Jennifer Miller.
The committee will meet on a timeline limited to between six months and one year unless extended by the selectmen, according to a charge approved in September. The idea of forming an affordable housing committee was first raised at a December 17, 2018 meeting of the board, and comes after developer HOPE Partnership withdrew an application for a 37-unit affordable housing development planned near Exit 70 on Neck Road in Old Lyme.
The committee is tasked with compiling an inventory of existing affordable housing and available land sites for future afforable housing projects. The committee will also clarify the threshold the town needs to meet state housing goals, and the committee will provide research on relevant state law, and other towns’ policies on affordable housing.
At the end of its term, the committee will submit a report to the selectmen, with research, recommendations and potential strategies on the issue.
Reached by text message after Monday night’s vote, Karen Winters said that she was “excited to be part of a group of individuals striving for positive change in our town.”
Annual Town Meeting is January 27
At the same Monday night meeting, the selectmen also discussed items likely to appear on the warrant of the Annual Town Meeting scheduled for January 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School’s auditorium.
The annual town meeting in Old Lyme usually asks residents to approve the annual town report and to vote on the selectmen’s nomination for citizen of the year.
First Selectman Tim Griswold said that this year the meeting warrant will also likely ask voters to approve a request by engineers Fuss and O’Neill to allow easements for a sewer project for three chartered beach communities in the town. Another warrant article would amend the town ordinance on appointing members to Old Lyme’s Ethics Commission, Griswold said.
The specific language of the warrant has yet to be written, Griswold said, but will be posted five days before the January meeting.