National Church Residences' revised plan for Stafford Village has been tabled by the Worthington Architectural Review Board and Municipal Planning Commission for the company to work out a few more details.

The applicant requested it be tabled at the Dec. 12 meeting.

The senior-housing company's proposal will return to the ARB and MPC before going to council at a later date.

"City staff has asked for some additions and clarifications to our plans, such as bike racks and supplemental language reaffirming our commitment to protect our trees during the construction process," said George Tabit, vice president of senior housing for the company. "We see these as valuable, too, and we will work diligently to ensure that our final proposal is ready for (a) vote at the next possible date."

The Stafford Village apartments, 814 Hartford St., were constructed in the 1970s in conjunction with Worthington Presbyterian Church, and National Church Residences acquired the portion the church owned in 2016, according to Tabit.

Tabit previously said National Church Residences knew at the time a renovation plan was needed so the community wouldn't be at risk.

Those plans have been under consideration for some time.

The resubmitted proposal had been presented Nov. 22; before that, a previously submitted plan was tabled Feb. 14, and the company's last presentation to the ARB was Feb. 28, according to Todd Hutchins, public-relations director for National Church Residences.

Tabit previously said the company has made several changes, including lowering rooflines by 13 feet, preserving a historic sycamore tree and changing the traffic flow for vehicle and pedestrian safety.

On Dec. 12, Lee Brown, director of planning and building for Worthington, said more information on several items was needed before the plan goes to Worthington City Council. That includes the location of air-conditioning units that would need to be screened from view, fencing and vegetation plans, a protection plan for the sycamore tree that is going to be preserved, calculations of trees that need to be removed and lighting changes.

"We felt additional information was needed," he said.

He said the city's service and engineering department had comments about water capacity and would have to develop a stormwater-drainage plan for the development.

Board member David Foust said several letters of support had been submitted for the project.

He said the board has received letters before, but nothing to this scale. He said the letters expressed the need for senior housing and the need for inclusivity.

Board member Kathy Holcombe said she wants to move forward with the project but work out the details, too.

"The sooner we get this going, I think the better off we're going to be," she said.

Tabit said the new plan is being completed by the same architect, Brian Jones of the Jones Studio in Columbus.

The plan continues to maintain 65 apartments that are designated as "affordable" at the location, according to Tabit.

Hutchins said Stafford Village has 88 apartments, set to increase to 117 apartments after the new facilities are completed.

Sixty-five of the current 88 apartments are designated as "affordable," with the rent subject to several guidelines, including those provided by government programs, Tabit said.

In terms of the cost for the affordable apartments, Hutchins said previously, National Church Residences follows the same approach as the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and others to determine their affordable rent.

"This means rent will be set at a level affordable to a senior household with an annual income (no more than) 60% of the central Ohio median," he said.

That figure -- an annual income no more than 60% of the central Ohio median -- is $37,440 per year, according to Tabit.

Worthington resident Jim Seals said he disagreed with the proposal, saying, "Even though it is beautiful, it does not belong in Worthington."

Jack Miner, president of the Worthington Community Relations Commission, said he and members of the commission support the proposal.

He said a lack of senior housing is a concern for residents of Worthington.

"There is not the opportunity or the access for senior housing," Miner said.

The next ARB and MPC meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 9.

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