Three-Family Dwellings Allowed By Zoning Board

Petitions for use variances that would allow two Jamestown residences to continue being used as three-family dwellings were approved by the Jamestown Zoning Board of Appeals.

Use of 619 W. 7th St. and 401 W. 7th St. as three-family residences is allowed to continue under the condition that City Building and Zoning Code Officer Larry Scalise confirm the buildings are up to code.

Owner James McGee told the board that the residences have been maintained and have hosted three families for approximately 30 years. City records list the residences as hosting two families, and Brett Sikora of 333 River St. in Hoboken, New Jersey wanted the listings updated to reflect the number of people living in the buildings.

Ellen Ditonto, board chairwoman, mentioned that there are multiple cases in which properties are non-conforming, and Scalise said it isn’t easy to determine how many properties host more people than are listed. Board member Peter Larson only motioned for the approval of the petitions to be recognized as three-family dwellings because of the long-standing history of the properties hosting three families and McGee’s word that the residences will continue to be well-maintained.

In discussion regarding the properties, it was decided that no fire escapes needed to be added since the residences are two stories without use of their attics, both of which are closed off according to McGee.

In other news, a petition from Kathleen Lumia to retain an 8-foot-tall mesh fence enclosing her backyard at 514 Margaret St. was approved under the condition that the fence will be stretched and cleaned up in response to a complaint that the fence is an eyesore. Lumia installed the fence eight years ago to keep deer from entering her property and eating her plants.

Another area variance was granted to Nicholas and Liza Babcock of 11 Spruce St. for replacement of an existing 6-foot-tall fence with an 8-foot-tall fence in order to prevent a neighbor’s dog from entering their property. The fence will also protect a 7-month-old daughter from the dog.