Worthington News

UMCH site's future

Interactive images let residents share input


Would Worthington residents like to see stores, offices, houses or apartments on the United Methodist Children's Home site?

And what about green space and parking?

City leaders want residents' opinions and has set up an interactive website for people to view potential development scenarios and to share their opinions with consultants, who will help shape the future of the 42 acres of prime Worthington property.

Click onto the "Provide Visioning UMCH Feedback" link from Worthington.org to see the five scenarios developed by consultants MKSK, the firm that was hired by the city to update the UMCH recommendations in the city's comprehensive plan, which will guide developers.

Click on any part of a scenario to see photos of what the consultants have in mind. See photos of apartment buildings, offices and the zero-lot-line homes represented on the scenarios.

Each scenario has a place for input. That feedback will be considered by MKSK when creating the final recommendations, which will be reviewed by the Municipal Planning Commission and approved by Worthington City Council before becoming part of the comprehensive plan.

MKSK, led by former planning commission member Chris Hermann, has been working on the plan since last summer. Several public meetings have been held, including one Dec. 4, during which the five scenarios were unveiled.

The 100-plus community members who attended that meeting were able to share their observations and opinions then. The website will allow them and others to see and offer their input.

The former residential treatment center for youth has been closed for three years and is for sale.

When Frank Kass from Continental Real Estate proposed building a Giant Eagle on the site in September 2012, the community opposed the plans, which then were withdrawn.

Since then, residents have organized to make sure they have input on any development, and the city hired the consultants to recommend a development plan that would represent the desires of residents, the city, the developer and the property owner.