What would happen if Browne’s Addition becomes a historic neighborhood?

People in Browne’s Addition are making an effort to preserve history around the neighborhood.

Browne’s Addition is Spokane’s oldest neighborhood and is made up of historic buildings; they are what many believe make the area so unique.

Property owners are currently voting to keep the old-fashioned feel around the neighborhood by deciding whether they want to make it a historic district.

So, what would happen if the proposal is approved?

The proposed district would require property owners to get board approval for any exterior renovations to their property. They would not need approval for any painting or landscaping.

If approved, owners would get help with their property taxes. They could receive up to 10 years of reduced property taxes, as well as a 20 percent income tax credit for income-producing properties, like rental apartments or retail establishments.

“I think it benefits my personal properties because it benefits the neighborhood as a whole,” said Catherine Fritchie, who owns several properties in the area. “If people are incentivized to fix up their houses, that’s going to help Browne’s Addition as a whole neighborhood.”

The Spokane Historic Preservation Office said making the neighborhood a historic district would also benefit renters by keeping apartments in the area at an affordable price.

Property owners have received their ballots and have until August 22 to turn them in. So far, 103 of the 371 ballots sent out have been returned with 78 people voting in favor and 25 against the proposal. Those who do not return their ballots will count as a “no” vote.

If the proposal is approved by voters, it then moves up to the Spokane City Council.

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