Worthington News

UMCH property

City slates tour of like sites, will gather ideas


After several months of deliberating on the city's vision for the United Methodist Children's Home property at 1033 High St., the city of Worthington is taking the next step Friday, March 14, when it will give a tour of other central Ohio developments that could considered examples for the site.

The development tour, which will leave by bus from the Louis J.R. Goorey Municipal Building at noon Friday, will showcase developments that city officials believe could provide ideas for a potential plan for the Worthington site.

According to Lee Brown, the city's first director of planning and building, the tour will give those interested an opportunity to pick and choose attributes based on the existing projects rather than simply an idea.

"The goal for the development tour is to look at different components of different developments that have occurred in Columbus and see which components of each of those we like," Brown told ThisWeek. "Do we like the open spaces of this one? ... Do we like the products?"

In other opportunities for residents to raise concerns and ideas, city officials have heard plenty of ideas but very little discussion about specifics. Brown said he hopes this would provide an opportunity for that kind of talk.

"Those are the things we're going to talk about on the development tour," he said. "Just flesh out some of those ideas and talk about what we like and what we don't like."

Cutting through the vague qualities that people mention and getting to specific likes and dislikes will be an important part of the tour, he said.

"We can kind of get a feel when we go forward for, when we talk about single-family, what do you mean by single-family?" Brown said. "A lot of people have talked about senior housing. What do you actually mean by senior housing? Do you just mean a house with one level?"

The tour comes less than two weeks before the next public meeting for the project, on March 26 at the Worthington Education Center. After the meeting, city leaders hope to use the engagement process to help create potential development scenarios that would be incorporated into an update for the city's comprehensive plan.

Brown said more than 30 people are taking Friday's tour. Those attending include council members, commission and board members, representatives from the Worthington Alliance for Responsible Development, the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce and Worthington City Schools and staff members from other city agencies.

Those interested in attending may either ride the bus or meet the tour at the specific locations, space depending.