Memory care expansion, fieldhouse get approval from planning commission

Worthington City Hall
Worthington City Hall. (Brian Korthals/Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON — The consideration of conditional use permits (CUPs) for the owner of Golden Horizons and the city’s planned fieldhouse were among the items on Tuesday night’s Worthington Planning Commission agenda.

Back in August 2019, the Worthington City Council approved a CUP for a 16-unit, approximately 8,250-square-foot memory care expansion at Golden Horizons. The assisted living facility, at the intersection of Collegeway and Crailsheim Road, is owned by KC Properties.

That approval, however, did not come easily, as the city council had voted the previous month to deny the CUP. The matter ended up being revisited by councilman Alan Oberloh — state law requires that when a city council vote fails, it can only be reconsidered by one of the council members who voted against it — following the threat of a potential lawsuit. The possible legal action was raised on the grounds that the planning commission’s decisions to grant a variance for a smaller setback than legally required, and to reduce the number of required parking spaces per resident to 0.5, meant that KC Properties did in fact meet the conditions for the permit.

Both Oberloh and councilman Larry Janssen had encouraged KC Properties to purchase additional land to the east before attempting their project. In the end, the council voted 4-1 — with Janssen remaining opposed — to approve the CUP after all.

During Tuesday’s planning commission meeting, Worthington City Planner Jeremiah Cromie explained that KC Properties was requesting approval of a slightly modified site plan,


“The amended site plan ... has a shed relocated to a space that was not indicated on the original approved site plan,” Cromie said. “The rest of the expansion is in the original footprint that was approved.”

The commission voted unanimously to allow the new site plan. City council members are expected to act on the matter during their meeting set for 7 p.m. Monday.

With regard to the CUP for the fieldhouse, the city submitted the request as required because such a facility is only permitted in the city’s “B-2” Central Business District. The fieldhouse is slated to be located at 700 Second Ave. on former Campbell Soup Co. property and next to the collaborative W.E.L.L. (Welcome, Education, Library, Livability) building being proposed by the city, Nobles County and Independent School District 518.

“The old Campbell’s site is mentioned specifically in the comprehensive plan as an

opportunity for redevelopment and the need for a mix of uses on the site,” Cromie told planning commission members. “One part of that mix it specifically mentions is that it offers a potential location for a community center.”

A recreational fieldhouse could be considered a community center, Cromie added, as people can meet for recreational and social activities including an indoor field and playground.

“The fieldhouse would likely get more use in the colder winter months as it provides an indoor playground and field that could be used year-round when other venues are not available,” he said.

The CUP was approved Tuesday and contains conditions including: compliance with city code on parking and loading; the property screens any outdoor trash area in compliance with city code; and the property complies with all applicable local, state and federal regulations. City council members are expected to consider the permit Monday.


In other matters Tuesday night, the commission approved:

  • A recommendation that the city council grant an orderly annexation agreement between the City of Worthington and Worthington Township to facilitate development of approximately 49 acres west of Glenwood Heights First Addition. Often referred to as the Dugdale property, public infrastructure on the site would serve a proposed 54 residential lots and be under control by city rules and regulations.

  • A CUP for John Ruiz to allow a 1,600-square-foot arcade lounge at 1517 Oxford St., currently owned by Doug Bahr. An arcade lounge is permitted in a “B-3” General Business District — the subject zoning of this property — with a CUP’s issuance.

Ryan McGaughey arrived in Worthington in April 2001 as sports editor of The Daily Globe, and first joined Forum Communications Co. upon his hiring as a sports reporter at The Dickinson (North Dakota) Press in November 1998. McGaughey became news editor in Worthington in November 2002 and editor in August 2006.
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