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FULL STORY: Worthington City Council votes in favor of code change, ATV regulations

Worthington City Council members looked Monday at this drawing of the proposed 10th Avenue Bridge at its regular meeting. (Special to The Globe)

WORTHINGTON — City council members voted Monday in favor of a third and final reading of a proposed ordinance that changes city code to allow sewer and water connection to water accessories on L-zoned properties.

This vote followed a first reading March 11 and a second reading April 8. Council member Alan Oberloh voted against the motion each time, and it passed 4-1 on all three occasions.

The change affects only 21 properties, all on West Lake Avenue. Water accessory rules will not change in any other way, including the prohibition on the structures being used for human habitation.

The council also voted 4-1 (Larry Janssen opposed) on a second reading of a proposal to change the zone of the property of Golden Horizons Assisted Living to allow a 16-unit memory care facility.

Janssen explained Tuesday that he feels KC Properties, which owns Golden Horizons, should have looked into the possibility of purchasing land from Homestead Co-op, which owns the strip of land to the east of Golden Horizons. Owning that additional 50 feet of width would make the project a lot more feasible, rather than trying to squeeze it into the existing property.

“I’m not against the project at all,” Janssen said. But he feels that the property owner “should have done his homework” before asking the city council for a change of zone.

Oberloh expressed concern about the proposed plan for the site, but according to city code, a site plan is not normally a factor in changing a zone designation. Oberloh agreed to address his concern when the company applies for a conditional use permit, at which point the site plan will be carefully considered.

Worthington Police Chief Troy Appel presented a first reading of an ordinance to allow ATV regulation within Worthington city limits. He explained that the language was adjusted since the original first reading Feb. 25.

“We are going to have to do some education” about ATV regulations,” Oberloh noted, adding that he has noticed children driving ATVs around town without helmets.

Appel said if the ordinance passes, the department intends to hold an ATV 101 meeting to introduce the community to the new law.

Council members voted unanimously in favor of the first reading.

Worthington Director of Engineering Dwayne Haffield showed council the plans for the 10th Avenue Bridge Replacement project. He explained that the state aid bridge funding and municipal state aid were approved, and the city has received the necessary permits.

The project is estimated to cost $1.28 million. Bids will be accepted through May 21, with construction to begin in early August. City council approved the request to advertise for bids on a 5-0 vote.

In community development business, the council approved a request for site preparation assistance. Palma Customs asked for assistance to demolish the existing commercial structure in order to improve on the business.

Council members reviewed the city guidelines for awarding assistance and voted unanimously to approve the request.

“I would like to congratulate you on that improvement,” Mayor Mike Kuhle told the business owners. Council members agreed that when a local business does well, the whole community benefits.