City council OKs moratorium on asphalt plant land use

WORTHINGTON -- A moratorium regarding the land use of asphalt plants within city limits was approved Monday by the Worthington City Council in a meeting light on agenda items.

WORTHINGTON - A moratorium regarding the land use of asphalt plants within city limits was approved Monday by the Worthington City Council in a meeting light on agenda items.


Jason Brisson, the city’s community and economic development director, advised council members that a local business is considering locating an asphalt plant within Worthington. In reviewing current requirements for conditional use permits, Brisson noted that the city’s current zoning ordinance doesn’t list general conditions for the use of asphalt plants in the city.


“We’ve noticed that we don’t have very specific development standards for asphalt plants,” said Brisson, who suggested the review of other cities’ ordinances to determine how the community of Worthington may proceed.



“It would be a monstrous project to add all of these (potential additions to city ordinance) at once, so we're going to take it in bite-size pieces,” Brisson added. “That's why I'm asking for a year on this. We would not accept applications for asphalt plants or issue building or development permits for asphalt plants until we address how other cities are doing this.”


After a short discussion - including talk of potential asphalt plants possibly locating exclusively beside their accompanying pits - council members unanimously agreed to move ahead with the moratorium. Staff’s ultimate recommendations on the matter would ultimately be forwarded to the city’s planning commission, with the council having final approval.


“It’s good you’re being proactive on this,” Mayor MIke Kuhle told Brisson.


In separate matters Monday, the council approved the third and final required readings of a pair of proposed ordinances.



The initial third reading, regarding a rezoning for T & S Rentals, was necessitated by a clerical error. The correct change in zoning will be result in an inclusion in the city’s B-3 district, a change from the current R-3 designation. The clerical error had specified a rezoning to an R-5 designation.


The second third reading pertained to the annexation of 29 acres of unplatted land owned by South Shore Acres LLC. The legal description of the property was detailed in council members’ packets as: ”That part of Government Lot 5 and the Northeast Quarter of the Southwest Quarter of Section 26, Township 102, Range 40, Worthington Township, Nobles County, Minnesota, lying southeasterly of the southeasterly right of way line of the Chicago and North Western Railroad.”


Both third readings were unanimously passed without discussion.


In other business, the council:



  • Approved the second reading of an ordinance amending Title XV of the Worthington City Code to include taprooms. The ordinance was prompted by the desire of a local resident who wants to open a microbrewery in the community.


  • Approved the appointment of Denise Erwin to the Public Arts Commission for a three-year term to replace Brenda Hurlbut. Erwin’s term will expire Dec. 31, 2020.


  • Approved a request from the City of Worthington LELS 274 Police Department Supervisory Employees to be able to participate as a group in the Minnesota State Retirement System Post Retirement Health Care Savings Plan.


  • Approved the reapportionment of special assessments for South Lake Development LLC for a two-lot plat south of First Avenue Southwest and east of Knollwood Drive. City staff found that the reapportionment doesn’t diminish the city’s ability to collect assessments on the property.


  • Met in executive sessions to discuss a pair of potential real estate transactions.
Ryan McGaughey arrived in Worthington in April 2001 as sports editor of The Daily Globe, and first joined Forum Communications Co. upon his hiring as a sports reporter at The Dickinson (North Dakota) Press in November 1998. McGaughey became news editor in Worthington in November 2002 and editor in August 2006.
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