Zoning Board Denies Proposal For Two-Family Residence

The conversion of an abandoned four-unit apartment house into a two-unit building was denied Wednesday.

During the Jamestown Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, William Stanley’s petition was denied for a use variance to allow for a two-family residence in a district zoned for just single-family homes. The proposed apartment conversion would have been at 632-634 Lakeview Ave. Stanley said he lived near the house on Chestnut Street. He said the building had been vacant for awhile. He purchased the house about a year ago. He said he would like to renovate the property so people can live there once again.

During the public speaking portion of the hearing, several neighbors from the area opposed the idea of a two-family residence. It was alleged the previous owner probably never had the Zoning Board’s approval to turn the house into a four-unit building. They said it is nice Stanley wants to renovate the house, but that the house should not be a two-family residence either.

The Zoning Board also denied the variance request from Jennifer Fusco for a proposed lot to sell used cars at 63 W. 23rd St. Fusco said, along with her father Jim Fusco, they would only sell two or three cars at a time. The use of auto sales is permitted in the district. However, the use must have an orientation toward a major street or highway, not a side street entrance.

During the public speaking portion, several members from the Emmanuel Baptist Church protested the idea of cars being sold across the street from the church, located at 53 23rd St. One comment from the group was there are already plenty of locations in the area to sell cars along busier, main streets.

The Zoning Board approved the petition for the First Lutheran Church, 120 Chandler St., for a variance to allow for an illuminated sign. Jim Wahlberg, speaking for the church’s congregation, said the current sign the church has is rusted and deteriorating. He said the new LED sign would have four lines of text available. He said the church doesn’t want the sign to flash or cause a distraction for passing vehicle traffic. The church is near Jamestown High School. Wahlberg said the school would be allowed to use the sign to advertise events. Also, the sign could be used to notify drivers of the 20 mph speed limit during school hours. The sign had a letter of support from school’s principal, Mike McElrath. The Zoning Board approved the variance with the condition the sign could not change any quicker than every 30 seconds.

The Zoning Board also approved the petition from Margie Terry for a fence around her property. Len Terry spoke for the petitioner and said the fence would allow for their dog to run free in a fenced-in lawn and would provide privacy for a hot tub they use. Terry said another reason for the fence is to keep neighborhood children from playing around the hot tub, which they have witnessed when they have come home from work. The petition was for a 6-foot fence. Under zoning laws, only a 3-foot fence is permitted. During the public speaking portion of the hearing, one neighbor spoke against the fence. The neighbor said a 3-foot fence would be fine and a 6-foot fence would be too large. Sally Martinez, Zoning Board member, asked if a 5-foot fence would be tall enough. Terry said he was fine with a 5-foot fence, which was accepted by the Zoning Board.