- Doug Smith
Housing: What role should Worthington play?
Worthington’s housing market was recently ranked number three in the nation by Realtor.com. This is no surprise, as Worthington was ranked number two in 2017. Due to its location, schools, and character, Worthington has long been a desired place to live – and will continue to be in high demand.
As Council dives deeper into the conversation about housing and development, it’s important the community gets involved to share feedback about the need for housing and what role the city should play.
The first question is philosophical, but crucial to laying a foundation to this topic.
What role does Worthington have in supporting the growing region?
Based on the regional growth projected by MORPC studies, we can presume the region will continue to grow, putting a continued strain on the housing market.
So, do we as a city have a responsibility to spark development for more housing?
With Worthington being landlocked, the only real possibility for housing is redevelopment of existing sites. Aside from the UMCH property, which has its own possibilities, there are a handful of sites in Worthington that would be conducive to redevelopment for housing.
By identifying the handful of sites, and proactively zoning overlays to allow for slightly-higher-density housing developments, we can send a message to developers about hot sites that are primed and ready. Of course, these sites have to be vetted and we must engage the public with full measure so the community can feel comfortable with any plan moving forward.
But, the above question must be front and center to our conversations. Because if the residents don’t feel a need to support the growing region, then maybe these proactive concepts miss the mark.
Now is the time to talk about it. Please share your thoughts.