WORTHINGTON — A request for a conditional use permit to construct a 16-unit memory care expansion at Golden Horizons Assisted Living Facility in Worthington failed to pass at Monday night’s Worthington City Council meeting.
The motion, which required four affirmative votes, failed by a 3-2 vote. Council members Alan Oberloh and Larry Janssen each voted in opposition. They said they’d like to see proof that KC Properties — the owner of Golden Horizons — has made an effort to purchase property to the east that lies between the proposed expansion area and Golf Park Apartments. The approximately 25-foot strip of land in question is currently owned by Homestead Cooperative of Worthington.
“I think that the proposed addition is too big for the lot because of the side yard and back yard setback,” Oberloh said of Golden Horizon’s proposed 8,250-square-foot expansion. “If they reach out and acquire that side yard space they wouldn’t need to come here. To me, they haven’t done their due diligence as they should.”
“They just haven’t done their homework,” Janssen added.
Worthington Director of Community and Economic Development Jason Brisson told council members that a designated wetland area, a portion of which lies within the proposed expansion area, may hinder the project from moving forward anyway.
Golden Horizons is waiting to hear more from appropriate authorities, he reported.
In other city council business, the council approved a subdivision request and conditional use permit for Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation (MERC) to construct a 600-square-foot building, an above-ground heating unit and above-ground piping along 778 South County State Aid Highway 5 (Read Avenue).
The request, explained MERC representative Jeff Marx, was to increase MERC’s natural gas capacity to pipe to customers.
Oberloh cast the lone no vote on both action items, stating that should city services be expanded, that area may be developed for low-density housing in the future, which is stated in the city’s comprehensive plan.
“Putting a gas substation there — I don’t like it at all,” Oberloh said.
Concerns regarding noise, light and aesthetic appeal were also addressed, specifically for one neighboring landowner.
MERC will be required to put slatted fencing around the building and plant trees to aid in blocking light and noise, as well as make it more aesthetically appealing.