SALISBURY — Discussion on the potential for bed and breakfasts in Salisbury’s Newtown Historic District as well as the status of non-conforming properties in that neighborhood caused some sparks to fly between the Mayor and City Council Monday.
Salisbury is looking for ways to improve Newtown and cater to the requests of residents. This could include allowing bed and breakfasts, bringing non-conforming properties into conformity or both. However, Mayor Jim Ireton and Councilwoman Laura Mitchell clashed over what, if anything, needs to be done regarding non-conforming properties in the area.
Ireton proposed the idea of amortization over 10 years that would allow non-conforming properties, generally those housing multiple families within a relatively small space, to return to single-family or other allowed uses. Amortization has received some criticism with opponents arguing that it unfairly targets minorities and that it walks the line of being unconstitutional.