WORTHINGTON — The unanimous recommendation of a pair of conditional use permits (CUP) for Independent School District 518 property was made Tuesday night during a meeting of the Worthington Planning Commission.

The first of the two CUPs requested by District 518 would allow the use of a field, buildings and grandstands in the floodplain at Trojan Field. Wold Architects and Engineers, which submitted the request, is asking for structures that wouldn’t be elevated on fill or flood-proofed to the regulatory flood protection elevation. It also is seeking to store materials below the regulatory flood protection elevation and place more than 1,000 cubic yards of fill that will not be used to elevate a structure.

Al Thiner, who resides on Marine Avenue, asked about potential truck traffic during work at the site, as well as what he’d heard about a rumored realignment of Trojan Field. His concerns on both were addressed, as he was told trucks wouldn’t be using Marine Avenue and the field was remaining in its current configuration.

Thiner also reported he hadn’t had problems with standing water and overflow over the course of his 13 years at his residence. Douglas Kahl, representing Wold Architects and Engineers at Tuesday’s meeting, said that shouldn’t change.

Members of the first planning commission approved the CUP recommendation with eight conditions — all of which don’t appear to be obstacles in completing the project.

“We’re still working with the contractor to make sure we can accomplish those,” Kahl said of the multiple conditions, adding that there were “not currently” problems with their terms.

With the second CUP request, the school district plans to construct a second-story addition of

11,740 square feet — as well as a physical outward expansion of approximately 510

square feet for an elevator and staircase — to the Worthington High School building. The land use of public institutional and cultural is only allowed in an “R-3” district (its current designation) with the issuance of a conditional use permit.

“A lot of the building is already two stories, so it’s really not out of character for the neighborhood,” said Jeremiah Cromie, Worthington City Planner.

Following a brief public hearing on the request — the commission had five such hearings Tuesday night — board members moved unanimously to recommend the CUP. The Worthington City Council will consider both District 518-related recommendations during its Monday night meeting.

In a separate matter, the commission recommended the creation of a new land use in city code entitled “Outdoor Seating Areas” in response to a local business owner expressing interest in

putting seats on the sidewalk. The term “Outdoor Seating Areas” would be defined as: “An outdoor seating/serving area compact and contiguous to a bar, tavern, restaurant, café, coffee shop, brewery, brewpub or distillery … that are permitted by right in a ‘B-2’, ‘B-3,’ ‘B-4’ district.”

The areas would be subjected to seven requirements pertaining to noise, designation of location/boundaries, proper maintenance and cleanliness, outdoor lighting, accessibility requirements, parking requirements and serving of alcohol.

The city council will also take up consideration of the seating areas language during its Monday meeting.

In additional business, the planning commission:

  • Approved a recommendation regarding the placement of commercial communication towers in the city’s residential areas.

Amended language on the towers now reads: “Commercial towers are not permitted in residential districts unless the principal land use is a school, hospital or other institutional use. Any commercial tower accessory to a school, hospital or other institutional use over 50 feet in height requires a conditional use permit. …”

“This is kind of a stopgap measure and we’ll probably come back with a more complete telecommunications ordinance,” Cromie said.

  • Approved a recommendation for a change of zone of approximately 2.15 acres the city owns north of Sutherland Drive and approximately 120 feet west of Sterling Avenue. The change would rezone the property from its current “TZ” designation to “R-1,” and would allow for the construction of additional single-family homes.