WORTHINGTON — Potential development in the city’s bioscience park, as well as amendments to regulations involving mobile food units and inoperable vehicles, were among the items addressed by the Worthington Planning Commission during its meeting Tuesday night.

Planned Unit Development (PUD): Worthington City Planner Jeremiah Cromie noted in the packet prepared for Tuesday’s meeting that a proposal to include more land uses that

could be put in PUD #7 — better known as the bioscience park — had been introduced by staff in August.

“The land used to be included in the PUD were mostly related to commercial uses allowed in a B-3 district minus storage units and auto repair facilities,” Cromie explained. “There was general consensus from the planning commission to move forward with this and get input from the surrounding businesses. Staff has got a hold of a few of the businesses in the bioscience park, and they have indicated they do not have any problems with it.”

A schedule of use regulations that adds multiple types of allowed businesses in PUD #7 was ultimately approved on a 5-1 vote. Changes will subsequently be formally considered by the Worthington City Council.

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Mobile food units: A temporary ban on semi-permanent restaurants and new user transient merchant permits was approved by the city council during its Aug. 24 meeting. City staff followed this action by reviewing similar policies of the Minnesota cities of Delano, Hopkins and Alexandria, among others.

Many of the changes proposed to ordinance Chapter 113 — “Peddlers, Solicitors, Mobile Food Units and Transient Merchants” — pertain to mobile food units and how they are defined and regulated. The revisions were passed unanimously and will be subject to consideration and approval by the city council.

Inoperable vehicles. One key component of proposed text changes to this city ordinance pertains to auto repair lots. Amended text states that these establishments are “primarily engaged in the repair or maintenance of motor vehicles, trailers and similar mechanical equipment, including but not limited to brake, muffler, upholstery work, tire repair and change, lubrication, tune ups and transmission work. An auto repair lot is exempt from abandoned motor vehicle requirements “provided it is conducted within a completely enclosed building being correctly zoned and licensed for such use.”

These text changes also passed unanimously, with the next stage being city council review.

In other business, the commission:

  • Unanimously approved an application from Connie Schmidt for a conditional use permit (CUP) for a storage building located near 1791 Diagonal Road that’s currently owned by Baxter Properties. Storage buildings that are not accessory to a business already located on the property are only permitted in a B-3 district — the subject zoning of the property — with a conditional use permit.

One condition of the CUP is that a gravel driveway to the storage building be installed within one year of receiving a building permit for the storage building.

  • Unanimously approved an application from Lizbeth Lerma for a conditional use permit for a dance hall/ballroom on property she owns at 703 Oxford St. while using the existing buildings at 717 Oxford St. for storage. Dance halls are only permitted in a B-3 district — the subject zoning of the property — with a conditional use permit.

“Although staff has concerns about parking on the property, staff finds that the use meets all required zoning ordinances and therefore recommends approval of the dance hall/ballroom subject to … conditions,” Cromie told commission members.