One of the most contested and coveted development sites in central Ohio is facing a new challenge — a petition asking the city of Worthington to buy the property for a community park.

A group of residents submitted the petition to the Worthington City Council on Oct. 7, asking the city to consider purchasing the 37-acre United Methodist Children’s Home property on High Street and convert most of it into a park with an amphitheater and community building.

The petition, signed by 1,000 residents, asks that the city acquire the property and develop a 28-acre park on the site that eventually would include a multiuse building, an outdoor amphitheater, a community garden, an athletics field and walking trails. The balance of the property, fronting High Street, would be sold for commercial development. In 2016, OhioHealth said it was interested in building a 20,000-square-foot office building on the site but has not pursued the project.

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