The offices of Hospice of Warren County will soon be moving.
At a meeting of the City of Warren Zoning Hearing Board on Wednesday to discuss a special exception request, the board unanimously approved a proposal to allow Hospice to locate its offices at 1 Main Ave.
The move required a special exception because it would put a business entity in a medium-density residential R2 district.
Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry
A sign posted in front of 1 Main Ave. in Warren provides notice of the Zoning Hearing Board meeting held Wednesday morning. Hospice of Warren County was approved for a special exception to use the house as its offices.
The exterior of the building would change very little.
Architect Donna Zariczny of Inscale Architects detailed the changes. Stairs at the front and side of the house would be replaced and a ramp installed to connect to the back door. The ramp would be difficult to see from the street, she said. The concrete driveway and portions of the sidewalks would also be replaced.
"The building is going to remain in its current configuration," Zariczny said. "I don't think that we would be detracting from the appearance of the building."
Inside, some walls will be removed and a staircase will be reconfigured, she said. "From the perspective of this house being renovated into offices, I don't think it would be that difficult to reconfigure" back to residential use in the event Hospice moves again.
The current Hospice offices are located inside Warren General Hospital. "We've outgrown our space," Executive Director Lisa To said, adding that the 12 Hospice employees have space in two small rooms at the hospital.
The existing space is also not conducive to visits by grieving people.
"Our current situation has become inappropriate," To said.
The house will allow for a more comfortable space for those patients and family members needing Hospice services. "It's more of a private, appropriate setting," To said. "They need to have a comfortable way to enter our place."
Also, "it's a much larger space," she said.
The availability of the 1 Main Ave. location was a fortunate one for Hospice. "We value our proximity" to the hospital, To said.
The house contains just under 2,400 square feet. According to the zoning ordinance, a public/semi-public facility must provide one parking space per 500 square feet. The Hospice plan includes two spaces in the driveway and another three provided by an agreement with the hospital.
Board members Burt Alexander, Dick Campbell, and Fran Hanlin approved the exception.