Construction is expected to proceed on a 32-unit apartment complex called Granby Place after Worthington City Council approved the final plan for it at 181 E. Wilson Bridge Road.

Correction: Because of a reporter’s error, the Oct. 18 print version of this story reversed two votes by Worthington City Council members. Doug Smith voted against the ordinance to approve the final plan and four variances for a 32-unit apartment complex called Granby Place and Scott Myers voted for it.

Construction is expected to proceed on a 32-unit apartment complex called Granby Place after Worthington City Council approved the final plan for it at 181 E. Wilson Bridge Road.

Lee Brown, Worthington’s planning and building director, said a timeline for construction is unknown, but the developer originally planned to get started by the end of this year.

A 4-3 vote by City Council on Oct. 15 authorized the plan and four variances for the project by developer Don Kenney Jr. and Oxford Circle Development. Doug Foust, David Robinson and Doug Smith voted no on the ordinance. Council President Bonnie Michael and Rachael Dorothy, Beth Kowalczyk and Scott Myers voted for it.

Robinson said he voted no because he believes the land, which is on the south side of Wilson Bridge Road and not far east of U.S. Route 23, could better serve the city.

“The including of the variances set a bad precedent along the corridor and elsewhere in the city,” he said.

Michael said she voted yes because of the need for single-floor living in the city.

“I just think that is a need and that’s the right place to have something like that. ... We didn’t really have any opposition to it,” she said.

Previous concerns expressed by neighbors were addressed with a slightly altered plan that was brought to City Council, which added a 6-foot cedar fence onto the south of the property, said Kenney’s attorney, David Hodge.

The city’s municipal-planning commission had viewed original plans for the complex in June.

On Sept. 17, a vote on the plan was tabled for when all council members were present.

Hodge answered questions from council members prior to the vote on why the variances meet the qualifications to be approved. The developer asked for four variances for the property.

“None of these variances is substantial at all,” he said. “If this doesn’t get approved, we’re going away. ... We’re not going to fight with the city.”

The variances were for the driveway exceeding the 45-foot requirement; increasing the number of units allowed in each building from 14 to 16; waiving a tree fee that is associated with the two lots; and allowing buildings to be closer than 50 feet to the side yard.

When asked about the variances by Michael, the only two that council members addressed at the meeting were the density variance and the waiver for the tree fee. Smith suggested the developer should donate money into the parks fund or somehow give money back to the city.

“They are replacing trees, from what our current code says, about 50,000 of them,” Dorothy said.

Foust, referencing the density variance, said four additional units could create a burden on Worthington Schools’ enrollment.

“I think we need to have a dialogue with the schools before we exacerbate this issue,” Foust said.

ominnier@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekOlivia

============

Previous story:

Worthington City Council on Oct. 15 approved the final plan for Granby Place, a proposed 32-unit apartment complex on a vacant 2-acre lot at 181 E. Wilson Bridge Road.

A 4-3 vote authorized the plan and four variances for the project by developer Don Kenney Jr. and Oxford Circle LLC.

The city’s municipal-planning commission viewed plans for the complex in June.

On Sept. 17, a vote on the plan was tabled for when all council members were present.

Kenney’s attorney, David Hodge, answered questions from council members prior to the vote on why the variances meet the qualifications to be approved.

“None of these variances is substantial at all,” he said. “If this doesn’t get approved, we’re going away. .. We’re not here to fight with the city.”

Read the full story in the Oct. 18 edition of the ThisWeek Worthington News.

ominnier@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekOlivia