Worthington News

Envisioning UMCH site's future

Tour intended to engage residents


The community is invited to take a walking tour of the United Methodist Children's Home site to help the city envision how the 41-acre property could be redeveloped.

A planning consultant will lead the tour, which is set to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at the parking lot of the UMCH administration building, 1033 High St.

Residents are invited to become involved in the process of planning for the future of the property, which is for sale.

Located in a prime area of Worthington, directly across from the Worthington Municipal Building and abutting the Worthington Estates subdivision, the land's redevelopment is seen by city leaders as critical to the future of Worthington.

A year ago, a proposal to build a Giant Eagle on the land was met with sound opposition by the community. The plan was withdrawn.

Now the city is taking a proactive approach to the redevelopment by hiring planning firm MKSK, which will study the site and work with residents, property owners, developers and the city to come up with a plan that would work for everyone involved.

A planner from MKSK will lead the tour and provide information about the history of the site and how development might occur.

The planning process will involve more opportunities for the public to engage in the discussion through both public meetings and a Web interface.

The city and MKSK intend to gain consensus around a range of acceptable redevelopment options that respond to market potential, community priorities, site-related infrastructure needs and appropriate planning and urban design goals.

The resulting vision plan is intended to lead to future development and illustrate possible benefits for the community, city, land owner and developer.

The vision plan will be presented to the Worthington Municipal Planning Commission for consideration and recommendation to City Council as an update to the 2005 comprehensive plan.

MKSK is gathering background information related to the site. After that work is completed, the city will provide additional announcements regarding input opportunities.

Individuals are encouraged to sign up to receive email updates via the city's website: worthington.org. On the left side of the page, click the "e-News Sign-Up" button. Residents should enter their email address and select the "Visioning UMCH" option.