2010-08-26 / News

Board approves variance for Court St. property

By Sam Bari

Jamestown attorney Michael de Angeli represented himself with the help of architect Mary Meagher in his application for a variance for his Court Street property.

The application, presented at the Aug. 25 meeting of the Zoning Board of Review, requested a variance for a 20-foot setback where 40 feet is required for a structure on the non-conforming 20,000- square-foot lot. De Angeli intends to build a single-family home with an office and workshop on the property.

De Angeli noted in an attachment to the application that the lot had been created long before the zoning regulations were written. Current regulations require lots in the area to be 80,000 square feet, with 40-foot setbacks from the front and back lot lines from any structure constructed on the site.

The property is a non-conforming lot of record with 200 feet of frontage on the west end of Court Street, a “paper street” as depicted in the plat maps. However, the lot is only 100 feet deep.

“The paper street is actually a private road,” de Angeli said in his application. He said that he is improving the private road to comply with town regulations as articulated by Town Engineer Michael Gray.

To develop this lot according to current zoning regulations, de Angeli is required to seek a variance from the District Dimensional regulations for 200 feet of frontage on a public street.

The proposed house is 32 feet deep and 52 feet wide. Consequently, relief from the setback requirements is needed before the property can be developed with the current architectural plan.

At the beginning of his presentation, de Angeli said that he was probably going to reduce the dimensions of the proposed house by 10%, because he didn’t need the 1,850 square feet of living space depicted on the plans.

Zoning Board Chair Thomas Ginnerty took issue with the presentation because he didn’t want to rule on an application that was not going to be built according to the presented plans.

De Angeli said that according to Town Zoning Officer Fred Brown, the plans were within the requirements of the zoning regulations to be eligible for a setback.

“If the board will approve these plans, I can always go smaller,” de Angeli said.

“You can, but I was going to question the house size,” Ginnerty said. “And I don’t want to vote on plans that are not going to be used.”

Architect Mary Meagher suggested that she change the dimensions from 34 by 54-feet to 32 by 52-feet on the submitted plans as a requirement to develop the property. That seemed to satisfy Ginnerty and the other board members.

After presenting two letters of support for the project and no opposition, the board voted to approve the application with a unanimous 5-0 vote.

De Angeli’s application was the only business heard by the board because the special-use permit application for 79 North Main Rd. was granted a continuance until its September meeting.

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