JAMESTOWN – A variance request involving electronic signage at the National Comedy Center (NCC) had to be tabled by the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals Wednesday because no one from the NCC was on hand to represent the organization.
The NCC is seeking an area variance and Special Use Permit to install two 357 square-foot EMD (Electric Messaging Display) signs on the front façade of the NCC on West Second Street. Under city code, the maximum allowable size for EMD signs is 144 square feet and the maximum number allowed EMD signs is one.
But according to the Jamestown Post-Journal, no representative from the NCC attended Wednesday’s petition hearing. Instead, NCC executive director Journey Gunderson, who was on the agenda as being the representative to go before the board, notified city development director Vince DeJoy that she wouldn’t be able to attend the hearing.
Because the NCC is scheduled to open on Aug. 1 and because it will take time to secure permits to install the signs, DeJoy requested that the zoning board not to table the variance request.
However, Zoning Board members felt it was important to have a representative from the NCC at the hearing before they could make a decision on variance and special use request. Current zoning board member and retired city clerk Jim Olson stated that during his 30 years in city government, he cannot remember any time when the zoning board passed a variance request without a representative for the petitioner present. He also questioned the NCC’s petition at this late date, with the grand opening of the future national attraction planned for Aug. 1.
The board ultimately (and unanimously) voted to table the variance and special permit request. The next scheduled meeting for the zoning board is Wednesday, July 11.