JAMESTOWN – A group of residents on the north side of Jamestown have gone on record regarding their concern about the future plans for the Sheldon House.
Members of the Lakeview Community Action Project attended Monday night’s Jamestown City Council work session to express concern regarding The Lynn Development Group offering to buy the Sheldon House from Jamestown Community College and using the historic building for office space.
Lakeview Ave. resident Paul Leone spoke to the council, saying that the group has spent a lot of time and effort to preserve the neighborhood by keeping it a strictly residential area. He said that if the Lynn Group were permitted to use the Sheldon House for office space, it would be a step backward for his group.
“We have been, over a number of years, putting in a lot of energy to lift the neighborhood and trying to make it a neighborhood. Having a corporation move into the neighborhood is a step backwards to our effort,” Leone said. “Another big concern for us is instituting a variance in the zoning code for this neighborhood opens up the street for more rezoning. So we are very seriously opposed to any change in zoning on this street.”
The Sheldon House is in an area zoned for residential purposes only. However, the Lynn Group could receive a zoning variance from the City Zoning Board of Appeals, which would allow it the ability to convert the Sheldon House to its new corporate office headquarters.
Even if the zoning variance were approved, the sale of the property from JCC to the Lynn group would also need approval from the city council and both Chautauqua and Cattaraugus County legislatures, since they are the hosting municipalities. The State University of New York, which oversees JCC operations, would also have to approve the sale.
Leone said he and his group plan to attend the zoning board meeting and make their feelings known.
It’s not yet known if the Lynn Group will have applied for the zoning variance in time for it to be taken up at the next zoning board meeting, which is Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 3:30 p.m.