A veterans zoning district may be created to permit the historic Sharon Memorial Hall to be leased as commercial office space.

A veterans zoning district may be created to permit the historic Sharon Memorial Hall to be leased as commercial office space.

Meanwhile, the building's board of trustees would like to rent out the parking lot for use as a farmers market on Tuesdays this summer.

The Municipal Planning Commission recommended the new zoning district at its meeting on March 25, and the Board of Zoning Appeals is to consider a conditional use permit to allow the farmers market at its meeting this Thursday, April 1.

The 150-year-old building is located at 137 E. Granville Road, on the southeast corner of Granville Road and Morning Street. It has had a variety of uses over the years, most recently as the headquarters of the Sharon Township Police Department and township offices.

Since Sharon Township moved out a year ago, the Memorial Board has spent approximately $50,000 to renovate the building, said board chairman Cal Taylor.

When a new electric system was installed, inspectors expected commercial standards to be met, even though the building is zoned R-10, residential.

Public and semi-public uses are permitted in R-10 districts, but such uses are not in demand at this time, Taylor said.

The veterans zoning, which would also apply to the American Legion building located behind the Memorial building on Morning Street, would allow use by veterans' groups and other philanthropic nonprofit organizations.

Commercial offices would require a conditional use permit, allowing the city some control over what specific office would be allowed on the site.

Worthington City Council must approve the new zoning category.

Low-intensity, daytime offices would be safe and compatible with the historic structure, Taylor said.

"We're confident we can attract people once it is properly zoned," he said.

The conditional use permit before BZA this week is to allow vendors to set up a farmers market during the day on Tuesdays, from June 1 to Sept. 30.

It would supplement, not supplant, the Saturday farmers market held on High Street during the summer and fall.

Taylor said he was approached by a vendor who would like to sell his wares during the week. The vendor said he could bring in ten or 11 other vendors.

"He said that produce doesn't just ripen for the weekend," Taylor said.