The Austin Chronicle

Update: 3805 Red River Historic Zoning Efforts

By Anne Harris, August 27, 2014, 5:45pm, Newsdesk

At 11pm last night, as the City Planning Commission voted 5-3 not to recommend historic zoning for 3805 Red River, both sides in the debate put forth compelling arguments.

As we originally reported, the hot button issue last night was the rights of property owners to demolish structures without interference from the City of Austin or anyone else. The owners have stated they do not want to sell the property, they simply want the house gone. Dr. Karen Browning, representing the interests of her mother, owner Gwyn Shive, has stated that they've always disliked the house. When asked by the Commission what she planned to do if historic designation was zoned for the home, Dr. Browning stated that she would sue the City. At one point, crowdfunding was suggested to defray renovation expense. Estimates reported by the Historic Landmarks Commission for renovation, demolition, and rebuild were all comparable within a $25,000 range. Of course, historic designation only requires compliance on exteriors, but the tax breaks afforded by it would undoubtedly help, if the family should ever have a change of heart. The case will be heard by City Council on September 25. If you have an opinion about it, you can email Council directly here. Stay tuned!

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