Scott Myers envisions the corners of East New England Avenue and High Street with a parking lot where the BP Station is located, and a park-like outdoor seating area in place of Graeter's parking lot.

Scott Myers envisions the corners of East New England Avenue and High Street with a parking lot where the BP Station is located, and a park-like outdoor seating area in place of Graeter's parking lot.

As a member of the Worthington Municipal Planning Commission, Myers has no power to make that dream a reality. But if he and fellow MPC members have their way, they may someday take a more active role in designing Worthington's future.

Ideas about how they could become more involved in planning were discussed at last week's Architectural Review Board (ARB)/MPC meeting. The short business meeting was over, seven weeks of summer recess was beginning, and the commissioners took a few minutes to express lingering thoughts.

"Right now, we're a reactive planning commission, we're not proactive at all," said commission chairman Richard Hunter.

The commission could probably never have the power to make Myers' dream come true, but it would be good if it could have some say over what happens to the Starbucks site when it closes at South and High streets, members said.

With a new city manager and several new council members in the city, this might be a good time to sit down with both and discuss the future of the commission, said Dave Foust. He is a long-time MPC member who now sits on council, representing council on the ARB/ MPC.

"We've never sat down with city council and laid out what they would like to see us do," Myers said.

City planning coordinator Lynda Bitar said she would set up a meeting of council, the city manager, and MPC in September.

Worthington Square was also the target of some last-minute comments at Thursday's meeting. Plans to continue with renovations at the mall have stalled, and the planning commission is not pleased that mall management has not been forthcoming in discussing plans.

Commissioner James Sauer was told "no" when asked if there was any news about the mall, which is owned in part by Stanford University.

"If you would like to carry a sign out in front of Stanford University, I'll walk with you," Hunter said.

Commission members said they also have concerns about the seven shopping cart corrals that have appeared recently in the Kroger parking lot. The corrals were not part of redevelopment approvals granted for the renovated Kroger, which is located at the mall but is owned by the Kroger Company.

"Get the roofs off," Foust said of the blue tops on the corrals.

"Seven is overkill," Hunter said.

The commission also gave an informal, off-the-agenda nod to minor changes to the plans for the Arts Center.

New plans show the glass entryway approximately one foot higher than approved, and the glass lobby about six inches wider.

Commission members also said it would be okay to remove a Red Maple tree on the southeast corner of the site, but would not give approval of plans to place banners on the front of the building.

The approved plans do include space for banners to announce exhibits or performances on the north side of the building at Evening Street and West Granville Road.

But MPC wants to take a wait-and-see approach to approving a more visible display area.

Myers offered to take anyone on a tour of the corner of Broad and High streets in Columbus to see what can happen if banners get out of control.

He referred to the Channel 4 street front studios which include what Myers says are "spinning balls" and "dreidels" that look like "a little piece of Times Square."

"It's the most garish thing I've ever seen," he said.

MPC member Chris Hermann said the arts council has in mind something more tasteful, like the classical banners that hang in front of New York City museums.

The only matter on the planning commission agenda was an amendment to a development plans permitting the Water Works, 550 Schrock Road, to build a garage and shop for company vehicles.

The plan was sent on to council with a recommendation for approval.

Water Works is a company that provides plumbing, drainage, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning services. It moved into a long-vacant building in Worthington last spring, and has 98 employees.

Commissioners had few concerns about the application, and a discussion about the color of the garage was stopped short by Myers.

"Paint it chartreuse for all I care, just keep hiring people and I'm golden," he said.

During the ARB portion of the meeting, approvals were granted for:

A fence at 771 Morning St.

A fence at 116 E. Granville Road.

An addition at 55 W. South St.