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Plainfield OKs Zoning Changes; Eberhardt Defeats Horne

Plainfield — During all-day ballot voting Tuesday, townspeople approved a series of zoning amendments designed to make it easier to build free-standing apartments on their properties.

The zoning changes allow residents to build accessory dwelling units, or so-called “in-law” apartments. Previously, apartments were allowed only if they were structurally attached, such as an addition, a basement or over a garage.

The number of allowed bedrooms in apartments doubled to two, and the amount of land needed to build an apartment in rural areas was halved to 3.5 acres. The amendments also allow for residents to have businesses at the same property.

The amendments include restrictions to prohibit residents from creating a separate parcel for the apartments through subdivision or selling the apartments separately from the house.

Officials have said the amendments were designed to create more housing opportunities for young families, as well as providing options for people who want their aging parents or children returning from college to live nearby. The apartments could also provide residents a source of revenue.

All three zoning questions passed by wide margins, with 342 people casting ballots.

In a contested race for a three-year Selectboard seat, Ron Eberhardt won over Mark Horne, 243-69.

Town Meeting will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at Plainfield Elementary School. Among the considerations will be a $2.25 million budget that would add 17 cents to the tax rate.

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