WORTHINGTON — In a Tuesday evening meeting that lasted a little less than 15 minutes, the Worthington Planning Commission agreed to forward a written opinion to the Worthington City Council regarding Redevelopment Projects 6 and 7.

The commission’s unanimous vote followed a recommendation from city staff and confirms the projects “conform to a general plan for the development of the locality as a whole,” Worthington Assistant City Administrator/Director of Economic Development Jason Brisson said.

“We want to fit these into the comprehensive plan, and this says that we’re not putting residential where it shouldn’t be,” Brisson explained Tuesday to Planning Commission members.

Redevelopment Projects 6 and 7 represent two separate parcels of Worthington property purchased by the city for the development of residential lots. The intent is to sell the lots to developers, builders or individuals for residential housing development, Brisson said.

The city purchased approximately 50 acres west of South Crailsheim Drive and north of a westerly extension of Sutherland Drive (Redevelopment Project 6) to create for-sale lots. The plat creates 28 lots for residential development and 10 outlots, of which one will likely be subdivided in the future for additional residential lots.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Also poised for redevelopment is approximately 7.8 acres of city-owned property south of an easterly extension of Darling Drive and east of Grand Avenue (Redevelopment Project 7), which would also be home to additional for-sale lots intended for residential development. The city plans to sell these lots to individuals or contractors to construct single-family or two-family homes. In addition, one lot will be sold to a developer to construct a market rate multi-family housing project originally presented to the council last April.

Brisson noted that, after discussing the projects with legal counsel, the “most desirable and appropriate method of selling the newly created lots” is to first have the EDA establish redevelopment plans for the area. It would then take ownership of the property and sell lots to individual buyers using its HRA powers.

The city council is expected to act on the Planning Commission’s opinion during its Monday meeting.

Also Tuesday, Brisson and Planning Commission members recognized retiring commission members Amy Woitalewicz and Rhina Resendez. Woitalewicz was appointed to the commission on April 1, 2014, and served one year of an unexpired term and two full terms. She also served as an officer for several of those years. Resendez was appointed to the commission on April 1, 2018, and served a three-year term.

Brisson reported that Alaina Kolpin, currently serving a three-month term as honorary Worthington City Council member, will join the Planning Commission in April. Another new commission member is still being finalized, he added.

Brisson also said a replacement for City Planner Jeremiah Cromie, who resigned his position last month, could be in place by as early as next month or in time for the May commission meeting.

“We got a ton of really qualified applicants,” he said, stating that the pool was narrowed down to four finalists. Interviews were scheduled to take place Thursday and Friday.