Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Pressure on Historic Resources

This house, at 2088 Hawthorne, was designed by Alex Browning, one of the earliest Scottish settlers of the City, for his son Hugh Browning. Mr. Browning also designed a nice Tudor style nearby on Arlington Street for another of his children (that is currently being used as an adult living center).

This particular house, in the Arlington Park Neighborhood, is under contract and the purchaser has filed a re-zone request to change the zoning from RMF-3 to OND (Office Neighborhood District).

While the purchaser has indicated she will keep the current structure and use it as an office (apparently it has a special exception that allows office use), she will not consider a proffer that would keep the building intact in the future.

The property has about 15,000 sq ft and could accommodate a large office building at some point in the future if the zoning were to be changed.

Some nearby residents would like to keep the "protected status" of the current zoning and special exception use. The Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation also favors the current zoning.

This proposed re-zone is on the Agenda of the Planning Board for the Oct. 12 meeting at City Hall.

Sarasota faces loss of historical resources as our city yields to the pressure of development. If ways can be found that allow co-existence of the old and the new, all of us benefit. It would seem that finding a way to assure a long future for this building would be good for Sarasota.

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