COCONUT GROVE (CBS 4)- There’s a controversy over a historic landmark in Coconut Grove.
The Stirrup house was built in 1897 on Charles Avenue by E.W.F. Stirrup who was one of the first black pioneers and owned the land that now most of downtown Coconut Grove.
A developer wants to rezone the land from residential to commercial and turn the home into a business.
The neighbors don’t like the idea and want to preserve the history of the home.
Chris Jones has lived and worked in the neighborhood most of his life he says he would like to see the house saved and repaired but doesn’t like the idea of opening the door to changing zoning in residential neighborhood into commercial.
“People need to remember where they came from what the cornerstone of the community is and things that were here so that the next generation can step up and make a difference,” said Jones.
The developer that owns the condo’s behind the Stirrup house has taken out a 50 year lease on the property and is proposing rezoning the area for adaptive use that mean it can turn it into a business like a bed and breakfast or a cafe.
Community Activist Jihad Rashid was against the idea but he now calls the plan a win-win.
“With the protection that comes with that rezoning, the community can maintain its character and enhance our property and lifestyle and showcase our history,” said Rashid.
The developer has agreed to leave a one foot residential zone around the property to prevent other neighbors from wanting to turn their land into commercial zone. It has also agreed to restore the Stirrup house to its original state and in case of a natural disaster it would build a replica of the building.
Commissioners will vote on the land use and zoning change on May 26th.