Questions on special use permits have caused a salon appeal to be tabled by the City of Jamestown Zoning Board of Appeals.
Joni Blackman, Fenton Historical Society executive director, amended her appeal to allow a two-chair beauty salon to be put in at the Hall House at 73 Forest Ave., a property owned by the society. In July, Blackman filed an appeal for a three-chair salon.
"If they would have left the appeal the same, they would have to wait a year to come back. It is a state law that you're not just allowed to re-vote on the same petition," said James Olson, city clerk.
Previously, although the vote was 3-2 in favor of the salon opening, each petition requires four votes in order to pass, so it was defeated.
During Wednesday's Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, Blackman explained to the board that the Hall House costs approximately $12,000 a year to operate, including utilities, insurance and minor building repairs.
"In the present economy, the Fenton's operating budget cannot support the Hall House without a tenant," Blackman said. "By renting out a small portion of the house - 350 square feet - the Fenton Board of Trustees can cover most of the expenses of operating."
The portion of the Hall House the salon would occupy would be taxable.
"They would be taxed on that 350 square feet under real estate tax," Olson said.
The question came down to a zoning ordinance, which determines what type of establishments are allowed within certain districts. A beauty shop is not permitted use in the district in which Hall House sits.
In order for a special use permit to be issued, the salon would have to be the primary use of the Hall House. The primary use of the building, however, is as a research center run by the Fenton Historical Society. The board questioned whether a secondary use of the building by the salon would also be covered under the special use permit.
"Isn't that one of the things that the Board of Appeals is asked to do? Where there's a question on clarity on what the interpretation should be, the Board of Appeals has the right to vote on the clarity to clear up any unclear issues." said Robert Karbacka, board member.
The board chose to table the appeal in order to clarify whether a special use permit would be allowed in this case.
"The motion can be brought off the table at our next meeting. We will seek clarification from Corporate Council about how we should address the secondary use," said Ellen Ditonto, chairperson of the board.
The next meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals will be Sept. 5 at 3:30 at City Hall.