Sign On

A new rotunda window sign has been approved for the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.

On Wednesday, the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals approved variances for the new sign. Kurt Silcott, Jamestown Savings Bank Arena chief executive officer, appeared before the board to discuss the new sign. He said the sign will be similar to the one currently on the arena. It will be a window sign that will still have the same sponsor – AT&T. The sign will have the same colors and will be the same size, Silcott said.

This is the third time arena officials have appeared before the Zoning Board to receive variances for the sign. In 2009, the board approved the sign for one year. Then in 2010, the sign was approved for three years. Board members wanted to make sure the sign wouldn’t be distracting to drivers or cause any problems, which is why the sign has had to be approved twice already.

Board members this time said because there have been no problems and no one has complained about it, a permanent variance should be approved as long as there are no changes to the type of sign used at the arena. If there is a change, the city’s zoning officer will determine whether the Zoning Board will need to make a ruling on the new sign.

The arena needed the variances for the sign for a couple reasons. One was that it is larger than what is allowed in the city’s zoning laws. The maximum allowable off-premise or billboard sign is 125 square feet. The sign will be 3,000 square feet. Also, no billboard advertising sign shall be within 100 feet of a stop sign. The sign is approximately 24 feet from one. The zoning district also doesn’t allow for billboard signs.

In other business, the board approved two 8-foot-by-4-foot signs to go on a medical office building at 149-151 Foote Ave. The building is owned by Mohammed Kourtu. Michele Showbridge appeared before the Zoning Board to speak about the need for the signs, which are larger than allowed by the city’s zoning code for the district. Signs in the area are allowed to be 10 square feet. The signs approved will be 32 square feet.

Showbridge said the signs are needed because the doctor has many elderly patients. She said the larger signs will make it easier for people to find the doctor’s office. Showbridge said Kourtu will only be using one of the signs. The other sign will be for another medical professional who leases the other part of the building to advertise their practice. Showbridge said Kourtu has a sign from another location in the city that was installed in the ground. She said Kourtu would like to place the same sign on the building at the 149-151 Foote Ave. location.

Robert Karbacka, Zoning Board member, said if the sign is needed to help patients in a busy part of town find the doctor’s office, the zoning variance should be approved.

The Zoning Board received two letters against approving the larger sign. One from James Calavitta who owns property on Water Street near the doctor’s office. Calavitta and his four siblings own the property at 8 Water St. He said the sign will lower the value of their homestead.

“I’m sure the doctor would agree he would not like a sign of this size next door to his home,” Calavitta stated in the letter.

The second letter was from the Rev. Robert Reeves from the Zion Tabernacle Church, located at 142 Foote Ave., across the street from the doctor’s office. Reeves states the larger signs would be detrimental to the aesthetic view of the area, which will be near one of the proposed routes for the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk.

“It is also hopeful that the community will support positive efforts toward beautification in and around the areas that include the Riverwalk project. It is our desire to support these community efforts. We are considerate that the Riverwalk is an inclusive community beautification project that we enjoy being a part of,” Reeves stated.