WORTHINGTON — Several developers asked the Worthington City Council for needed permits and zone changes during the council's Monday night meeting.

JB Brooke Properties is interested in a parcel of land west of U.S. 59 for building a Frito-Lay warehouse. Project manager Pat Janicek of Spirit Lake, Iowa has negotiated with the Worthington Economic Development Authority to purchase the land, which is currently owned by the EDAu. Next, he needed a conditional use permit in order to begin construction on the 3,600-square-foot building.

The city council awarded the CUP with the conditions that JB Brooke abide by city parking and loading ordinances, adhere to submitted site plans and follow all local, state and federal regulations. Although JB Brooke intends to leave one access driveway unpaved, staff pointed out that city code allows for that if use is low-volume. Janicek confirmed that no more than two tractor-trailer trips will use that driveway per week, so the council felt comfortable approving the CUP given the current site plan.

In a separate request, DK Buildings has asked for a change of zone for a 1.6-acre parcel south of East Avenue and west of Read Avenue, across from Rising Sun town homes. The property is currently zoned R3, one-family detached, and TZ, transitional zone.

DK Buildings would like the property to be zoned R2, one-family, low-density, to allow building more than one residential unit onsite. City council members voted unanimously to approve the first reading; two more favorable readings are required in order to enact the change of zone.

Additionally, Yellow Company LLC owns a parcel of land near the upcoming entertainment spec building site. The parcel totals 6.8 acres in area and is zoned R1, one-family detached. Yellow Company — represented by Jayme Baker of Glenwood — is requesting that the property be divided into three separate parcels and each parcel rezoned to allow specific types of development.

A schematic of the proposed division and zone changes of the property owned by Yellow Company. The road along the northern edge is Cecilee Street, with Grand Avenue to the west. If all three readings are approved, the yellow section would be zoned to allow 20 single-family residential lots, brown four 8-plexes and pink general business.
A schematic of the proposed division and zone changes of the property owned by Yellow Company. The road along the northern edge is Cecilee Street, with Grand Avenue to the west. If all three readings are approved, the yellow section would be zoned to allow 20 single-family residential lots, brown four 8-plexes and pink general business.

The first piece is planned to become 20 residential housing lots and a stormwater treatment facility, which requires an R2, one-family, low-density, designation. On the second piece, Yellow Company would like to build four eight-plexes, which needs an R4, medium-density zone designation.

Both of these zone changes were recommended by the Worthington Planning Commission. A third, however, was not.

Yellow Company asked for the last piece to be zoned B3, general business. When the planning commission considered the request, three of five voting members cited land use conflicts, the comprehensive plan's designation of the area as medium density residential and the potential for "commercial creep" as reasons to deny the change of zone.

Mayor Mike Kuhle disagreed with the planning commission's assessment.

"To me, this looks like a decent buffer between Kwik Trip and the residential area," he noted.

The city council did not follow the planning commission's recommendation, unanimously passing a favorable first reading Monday night.

Each zone change must pass three readings in order to be finalized.

Other city council business included:

  • Designation of King Turkey Day as a community festival in order to fulfill a new state regulation that requires this measure for an event lasting more than one day to be granted a temporary liquor license.
  • Approval of new parking restrictions on Third Avenue from Ninth Street to 10th Street (now four-hour parking 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., no parking at the Armory and no parking 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.) and on Ninth Street from Second Avenue to Third Avenue (now two-hour parking 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and no parking 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.).