The Coastal Star

Ocean Ridge: Commission shows little support for floor-area ratio change

    A Planning and Zoning Board recommendation to allow Ocean Ridge homes a little more living space doesn’t have support from town commissioners.
     Only Commissioner Ed Brookes agreed with the advisory board to increase living space by reducing how garages are computed in the total square footage allowed for new homes. Just half of the garage size would have been counted in the floor-area ratio as long as the home owner didn’t convert the garage into living space.
     A motion by Brookes to approve the change failed at a Nov. 4 meeting when it didn’t receive a second.
     The issue had split the Planning and Zoning Board at an Oct. 28 meeting where board chairman James Bonfiglio was against the zoning change, saying Ocean Ridge’s existing ambiance is a result of the current floor-area ratio requirements.
     The Planning and Zoning Board overrode Bonfiglio in a 3-2 vote to recommend approval for the change.
     Commissioners also discussed criticism of their rental fee ordinance by apartment building owners at their Nov. 4 meeting.
     They agreed that the $50 annual fee that they approved last spring is reasonable.
     “The idea is to know what is being rented,” Mayor Geoff Pugh said. “We don’t want to be looking over someone’s shoulder, but we want to know.”
     Police Chief Chris Yannuzzi said concern over sober houses prompted the ordinance.
— Tim Pallesen

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