2005-12-15 / News

Panel denies appeal to overturn Jack’s Electric permit

By Sam Bari

Panel denies appeal to overturn Jack’s Electric permit

The appeal of Frank and Magdalena Andres of 13 Clinton Ave. to overturn the approval of the Jack’s Electric request for a special-use permit to build a new facility at 14 Clinton Ave. was denied at the Dec. 13 meeting of the Zoning Board of Review.

Attorney Andrew M. Teitz represented the Andres, whose residence is located across the street from the proposed Jack’s Electric facility. Expert witness Anthony Lachowicz, a planning and zoning consultant, testified on the Andres’ behalf, citing the issue of use of the building housing Jack’s Electric as a reason to overturn the approved application. According to Lachowicz, the use involves trade contractors strictly confined to performing contracted electrical work, implying that it is not a retail facility, which is a zoning requirement for businesses in that commercial area of town. The building is to be used for industrial, wholesale business and storage of non-hazardous material and equipment, Lachowicz said.

However, board members did not agree with the allegations of Lachowicz and Teitz. Vice Chairman Don Wineberg noted that the business can be defined as a retail establishment because the business sells to the ultimate user and not a reseller, which is the true definition of a wholesaler. Board member Richard Boren moved to deny Andres’ appeal in a 16-point motion that included citing Zoning Officer Fred Brown’s approval as well as that of the Planning Commission. The definition of “retail” was strongly contested by Lachowicz when presenting reasons for the permit approval to be overturned.

Representing Jack’s Electric, attorney Jim Donnelly gave a persuasive argument in support of the request, citing that both the Planning Commission and the zoning board found the design of the building, use of the premises, and minimal impact on the neighborhood well within reasonable and acceptable standards for the location.

Town Councilman William Kelly, who sat on the planning board when the application was originally made, spoke in support of the approved request, citing minimal disturbance to the area from a commercial enterprise as his primary reason for voting in favor of the application. “The business operates from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., five days a week,” Kelly said. “As a retail business, it could very well have heavy traffic from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. seven days a week,” he added.

Correspondence from Jamestown business owner William Munger also supported the approval of the Jack’s Electric application.

Zoning Officer Fred Brown spoke at length in support of the new facility and complimented the Planning Commission as well as the zoning board for their recommendations and ultimate decision.

Although several board members found the Andres’ argument persuasive, the consensus was that the arguments were not substantial enough to convince the panel to overturn the approved request.

The board voted unanimously to deny the appeal.

In other old business, the Cingular Wireless request for special use permits and variances was granted a continuance to the January zoning board meeting because Cingular could not be represented at this special meeting of the board that was held on a different date than its normally scheduled monthly meeting.

In new business, Daniel Mendelsohn represented himself and his wife Nadine in a request for a variance to change a wood stove to a fireplace and install a 2by 4-foot chimney chase on the south side of their house at 24 Marine Ave. in the Jamestown Shores. The outside chimney and chase will be 6 feet from the property line where 10 feet is normally required. Building Official Fred Brown contacted two abutting neighbors who supported the request provided the construction did not effect the direction of groundwater runoff. The board voted unanimously to approve the application.

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