JAMESTOWN – A state appeals court is now deliberating on the fate of the Sheldon House and whether or not in can be used as a business headquarters.
On May 16, the attorneys for the parties involved in the case appeared in the New York 4th Appellate Division court in Rochester to argue for and against an appeal regarding the zoning variance for the historic home and property, which sits at northeast corner of Lakeview Ave. and Falconer St. Attorneys who presented orgal arguments included Jamestown Corporation Council Marylin Fiore-Lehmen, Jamestown Community College attorney Steve Abdella, and Daryl Brautigam, attorney for the residents who are challenging the variance. Kristen Lee Yaw, who represents the Lynn Development Group, didn’t appear in cort on May 16, but did submit a written argument, on behalf of her client.
The Sheldon House sits in an area of the city that is zoned for residential use only. It is owned by JCC, which announced it was selling the property in early 2016, with Lynn Development eventually announcing it would buy the home for $240,000, contingent to it receiving a zoning variance so it can be used as the main offices for the company.
In May 2016 the city’s zoning board granted the variance, but that was challenged by a residents in the neighborhood, who didn’t feel there was the necessary hardship requirements needed in order for a variance to go through. In the summer of 2016, the State Supreme Court in Mayville upheld the variance decision, and that ruling was appealed to the state circuit court.
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi said that the arguments by attorneys involved in the case were made last week, and now it’s a matter of waiting on a decision.
“Largely, the appellate division does research,” Teresi explained when asked by WRFA for an update Monday night. “They look at all the papers that have been filed, the written arguments. There was about ten minutes of oral arguments, with give and take between the attorneys representing the three parties. Corporation Council reported to me that there didn’t appear to be any bias or indication that they were favoring one side over the other, just a series of clarifying questions that seemed to be equally spread between the three parties and three attorneys.”
Teresi added that there was no indication of the timetable for when the court would deliberate and render its decision. Even once a decision is rendered by the appellate division, there is the option to appeal that decision to the New York State Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state.