Zoning Board Withdraws Motion With Only Four Members Present

A rare occurrence happened during the Jamestown Zoning Board of Appeals meeting Wednesday.

Of the seven members on the board, only four attended the meeting held via Zoom to consider the petition from Lisa Volpe for an area variance to construct an addition on to 167 Brad St. in a R-1 (single-family residential).

Because there were only four members of the board present, all would need to approve the area variance for it to pass. When it came time to vote, three of the four members approved the area variance, but because one voted no the petition didn’t pass.

Following the petition not being approved, the board member who made the original motion – Michael Panebianco – then made a motion to withdraw his motion until there was a time when more members of the board could be available to vote on the area variance. All four members approved the motion to withdraw, so then the matter was tabled until a special meeting can be scheduled to consider the petition again.

Volpe, who is the city assessor, came before the board for an area variance because she wants to add a 23-foot by 31-foot addition to her late mother’s former home so her family can live there. Volpe said she has tried to sell the house, which has been unsuccessful. She said for her family to move there, they would need to add two additional bedrooms with the house currently only having one.

If the addition was added, the front yard setback for the property would only be 10 and 15 feet, with the city zoning requirements being a setback of 25 feet.

Volpe said she cannot add the addition to the left side of the house because of a garage. She said the addition also can’t be added to the backyard because there is only 13 feet. She added that the right side of the house is on the corner with Ivy Street, so that is why it’s considered a front yard setback.

Steve Sandberg was the board member who voted down the petition. Sandberg didn’t state why he voted no during the meeting, but he did ask a question about the front yard where he said there seems to be more room for an addition.

Volpe said it would be cost prohibitive for the addition to be added to the front because that is where the living room is currently located and the whole house would have to be reconfigured. She said the right side of the house is where the bedroom is already located so adding the addition there makes more sense.

Ellen Ditonto, board chairwoman, asked if Volpe could add another floor to the house instead of an addition, but Volpe said her husband and herself have bad knees and would need to keep the house to just one floor.

Three neighbors also emailed correspondence to city officials, with all of them approving the area variance.


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