Complex: Council Not Entirely Powerless

Anthony Dolce, R-Ward 2, was correct when he said recently the council doesn’t have a formal approval role when it comes to private developments like Jackson Spring, a two-building complex nestled on Spring Street that will have one 36-unit building and a second complex with seven townhouses.

If funding can be secured, the project can indeed move forward with no further action by the council. That isn’t the whole story, however.

If council members so choose, they can issue a statement of support for the project that could be used to help the NRP Group and CODE Inc. secure state funding for the project. They could issue a statement opposing the project that would make it harder to secure funding. And, there is a role for the council’s Housing Committee to play in setting housing policy that can then be used by the city’s Zoning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Commission to use when evaluating housing proposals — such as a preference for projects that fill gaps in the existing housing market. Also, much as it did briefly in 2016, the Housing Committee can play a role in public education and outreach for the Jackson Spring project.

The Jamestown City Council may not have final authority whether or not the Jackson Spring proposal moves forward, but it is far from having no authority whatsoever.