There was a delay in transforming the former Grace Chapel Church into a dance studio.
On Wednesday, the Jamestown Zoning Appeal Board filed a waiver petition from Jaclyn Ferraro and Vicky Haskell to turn the old church into a dance studio.
Ferraro said she and his mother, Haskell, ran the dance studio Dancing With Victoria, which had been open since 2016. Before Ferraro and Haskell together ran the dance studio, Haskell had operated his own dance studio for over two decades. decades, Ferraro said. . The two hope to buy the old church to have a more permanent place to operate their dance studio.
Ferraro said she was also a third-grade teacher and that the proposed new location for the dance studio is along Buffalo Street near the Ring Elementary School.
“We teach a lot of children from school” Ferraro said. “It would be beneficial for them to be able to walk to (dance) class after school. It will be a safe and fun place for the kids to go after school. When I saw the place I thought it was perfect for the kids in the community.
Board members Stephen Sorg and Michael Panebianco questioned whether switching from a church to a dance studio would violate the criteria the zoning board should use when determining whether a use waiver should be issued. The test in question is whether the owner of the property could receive a reasonable return if the property remains as it is currently zoned as a church.
A church is authorized in an R-1 (single-family residential) neighborhood. However, a dance studio is not and is initially permitted in an RC neighborhood (multi-family residential and professional office).
“You have to prove that the church cannot receive a reasonable return for the way it is zoned”, Panebianco said.
Panebianco suggested Ferraro consult with a lawyer and the real estate agent to explain why the owner has to sell the church to turn it into a dance studio.
Ellen Ditanto, president of the zoning council, also suggested Ferraro work with Larry Scalise, the city’s building and zoning code enforcement officer, and Ben Haskin, the city’s associate lawyer, to provide all the necessary information. information required on the use exemption request form.
Due to the need for more information, the Zoning Council filed the resolution. A special meeting could potentially be scheduled before the next regular Zoning Council meeting, which is the first Wednesday of each month, if Ferraro gets the requested information.