“Vision Worthington” Chair appeals to MPC re: LC Proposal
“. . . I would ask you to explicitly deny, as opposed to tabling, the Lifestyle Communities proposal for UMCH, thereby creating the context where a city acquisition becomes a possibility. By taking both ownership of the parcel and responsibility for its development, our city government would be in a position to finally realize the desires of Worthington.”
Past Chair of the Worthington
Community Visioning Committee
Joe Sherman has given permission to us to share his letter to MPC.
Members of the ARB/MPC,
My name is Joe Sherman and I come before you as a fellow resident and as the past Chair of the Worthington Community Visioning Committee. I am reaching out regarding Lifestyle Communities (LC) updated proposal for the UMCH property in advance of their presentation and discussion at your October 14, 2021 ARB/MPC meeting.
Frankly after reading their revised concept plan for the future for Worthington, I was disappointed and under-whelmed as this proposal is nothing more than a rehash of their 2015 and 2020 submissions.
Lifestyle Communities should respect and respond to our needs as a city not propose a development with its 4 and 5 story structures and 600 additional residences. The long term financial consequences of a high density residential development is not an economic boon to a city in the long term. The UMCH site should serve the long-term interests of the residents, not the short term interests of a developer.
LC’s previous two submissions were soundly rejected by the community in 2015 at the WEC, and in 2021 by way of 300+ residents speaking out in opposition and only 4 in favor. I expect additional opposition will follow in response to this latest submission. LC has largely ignored that our city needs to generate income tax revenue from a multi-use development of the UMCH site in the ten acres of land along High Street already zoned for commercial use. Most fundamentally, their business model is simply inflexible and incompatible with Worthington’s needs and values, simply ignoring what the residents have said they want and expect. They are not the least bit interested in Worthington as a community, but merely as a place to bulldoze, literally and figuratively, a Lifestyle development into place.
As a refresher, let me share with you one of the seven vision statements from the Vision Worthington project:
“Worthington Leadership is Open, Forward Thinking and Collaborative. As a community we said that our elected leaders are known for listening and responding to the voice of its residents and carefully considering actions that affect our community. All the while striving for consensus building by encouraging and modeling respectful public dialogue demonstrating benefits for the common good and then making hard decisions to further progress”
With this in mind, I would ask you to explicitly deny, as opposed to tabling, the Lifestyle Communities proposal for UMCH, thereby creating the context where a city acquisition becomes a possibility. By taking both ownership of the parcel and responsibility for its development, our city government would be in a position to finally realize the desires of Worthington. Why not ask the community if they would support the concept of a signature park project as we do not have any community gathering space like other cities. This public engagement and collaboration could lead to a different kind of development generating a lot of public spirit and could possibly be the cornerstone of the next phase of the Visioning Committee’s work. It’s this sense of community that ought to be cultivated and preserved above all else. Our future rests in each other.
Thank you for your consideration and best wishes on your decision.