National Church Residences has resubmitted plans for its Stafford Village redevelopment to the Worthington Architectural Review Board and Municipal Planning Commission in time for a meeting Thursday, Jan. 9, according to city documents.

The senior-housing company had asked for a previous submission be tabled by the ARB and MPC on Dec. 12.

Todd Hutchins, public-relations director for National Church Residences, said the new submission for the Stafford Village apartments plan has some modifications that were based on suggestions by city staff members to add bicycle racks and park benches to the project.

“We also added language to reaffirm our commitment to protect the trees during the construction process,” he said.

Lynda Bitar, planning coordinator for the city, said the actual plan has not changed from previous submissions, but additional details have been included in writing.

According to a staff memo for the Jan. 9 meeting, updated information has been added, including a tree-preservation plan showing, among other things, a large pin oak and sycamore that will be protected during construction.

Other development-text updates include that the outdoor condensing units for the HVAC system would be placed on the roof and “screened from view” and that bicycle racks and decorative benches would be added along East Stafford Avenue, the memo said.

Bitar said the planning commission would give a recommendation on whether or not the proposal should be sent to Worthington City Council for a vote.

She said council then would have a public hearing, followed by a vote on the plan. She said there is no estimated date for the hearing.

Hutchins said the next step in the process would depend on when the project would be sent to council for a vote.

“If there’s a positive City Council vote in early 2020, it’s possible we could begin construction in the fall,” he said.

The Stafford Village apartments, 814 Hartford St., were constructed in the 1970s in conjunction with Worthington Presbyterian Church, according to George Tabit, vice president of senior-housing development for National Church Residences.

In 2016, the company acquired the portion the church owned, he said.

“The proposed facility is a replacement facility for seven 1-story apartment structures located on approximately 3 acres,” according to the project description on the application submitted to the city. “The existing apartment buildings will be demolished to make way for the new apartment building. The project will consist of a 2- and 3-story wood-framed structure comprised of 85 apartment units, with a portion of the project sitting above a concrete parking podium.”

Hutchins previously told ThisWeek 117 apartments would be at Stafford Village after the new facilities are completed.

Meanwhile, a group calling itself Citizens For Worthington has created a website, citizensforworthington.com, opposing the Stafford Village project.

A statement on the website defines Citizens For Worthington as “an informal group of local residents.”

Emily Baker, a resident who contacted ThisWeek about the group, said it had been formed recently, giving “three days ago” as the timeline Jan. 7.

The size of the group, who is leading it and whether its members intend to speak at the Jan. 9 meeting were unclear Jan. 7.

The ARB and MPC meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 9 at the Worthington Municipal Building, 6550 High St.

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