Worthington News

Judge rules in city's favor over lots near CVS


A judge has upheld Worthington City Council's decision to not allow two one-story buildings to be constructed on the vacant lots immediately south of CVS.

Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Alan Travis on April 11 overruled an appeal by MK&K Realty over council's September 2012 decision.

Unless it is appealed, the decision to not permit the one-story buildings will stand.

"I have not heard from MK&K, in terms of their intentions of appealing," Worthington law director Pam Fox said April 30.

The realty company appealed after council voted unanimously to reject an amendment to a final development plan that would have permitted single-story, brick commercial buildings to be constructed at 890 and 910 High St.

The lots were part of the CVS parcels for which final development plans were approved in 2007. That approval included the CVS, which was built the following year, and the adjacent lots to the south. The plans called for the two southern buildings to be commercial on the first floor with residential space on the second floor.

On July 16, 2012, MK&K, which owns the property, filed for an amendment to the development plan to eliminate the second floors.

On July 26, the MPC voted unanimously to recommend that council approve the amendment. In its conclusion, it stated that "while the elimination of usable space on the second floor is unfortunate, the scale and massing of the buildings give the feeling of two-story structures, which is complementary to the existing landscape."

The Architectural Review Board also issued a certificate of appropriateness for the two buildings.

A decision of the MPC in the case of an amendment to the development plan is not final. Its recommendation is one element in council's decision.

In this case, council chose not to take the advice of MPC and rejected the amendment.

MK&K then appealed, claiming council erred by failing to follow the procedures of its own ordinances and that it did not have jurisdiction to rule on variance requests.

Council erred in general by not approving the final development plan, according to the appeal.

Travis overruled all three allegations of errors.

"The Sept. 10, 2012, decision of the City Council is constitutional, legal and is not arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable and is supported by the preponderance of substantial, reliable and probative evidence," the judge stated in his decision.