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Town of Fountain Hills News

Posted on: March 4, 2020

Fountain Hills Medical Center FAQs

Background

In early 2019, Drs. Yarlagadda and Ezeume submitted plans to the Town to develop a hospital and medical clinic on a five acre parcel at the northwest corner of Saguaro Boulevard and Trevino Drive. Based on review of the zoning ordinance, staff determined a hospital would best fit in the C-2 zoning district. Because the property was not zoned C-2, the doctors filed a rezoning request. When the request reached the Town Council, the Council determined that hospitals were an allowed use in the C-1 zoning district and a rezoning was not necessary to allow a hospital on this property.

Since this is a new use for the Town in an area that is next to a residential neighborhood and that can sometimes be congested, this has led to several questions about the status of the proposed development. Namely, the steps that have been taken to allow the development to continue, and the steps that are still necessary. This FAQ document provides that information.

What was necessary for the property owner to begin construction of the hospital? 

Once the Council determined that a hospital is an appropriate use in the C-1 district all that was necessary for the property owner to move forward with construction was staff approval of a site plan and of their construction drawings. Those items were approved by staff in December 2019.

When will construction of the hospital start?

Construction of the hospital began in February 2020. Initial work will be to salvage some of the plants, then the contractor will begin grading the site.

When will construction of the hospital be completed?

The contractor anticipates the hospital being completed by November 2020.

Will there be any further public review of the proposed hospital development? 

The C-1 zoning district requires that businesses do not open before 7:00 am and that they close by 11:00 pm, unless the Council approves a Special Use Permit (SUP). Therefore, for the hospital to be open 24 hours per day, the Council will have to review and approve a SUP. The Town Council will consider the SUP at a public hearing in May. 

The property owner has also requested approval of a variance to the ordinance requirement for an 8’ wall along the property line dividing the commercial and residential properties. The request for the variance will be considered by the Board of Adjustment in April.

What is involved with the review and consideration of the hospital’s SUP?

First, staff will review the request to identify any impacts from a 24-hour use and works with the applicant to resolve possible concerns. A public hearing is currently scheduled for review by the Planning and Zoning Commission on April 13. Notice of the hearing will be sent to all property owners within 300’, posted on the property, and published in the newspaper. Staff will prepare a report, which will be available to the public, for the Commission meeting. The public can attend and speak at the Commission hearing. Following action by the Commission, the request will go to the Town Council for a final decision. The Council could vote to approve, approve with conditions, continue, or deny the request. The Council will be considering this request at their regular meeting on May 5. The public is invited to attend and address the Council.

What is involved in the review and consideration of the hospital’s Variance? 

 In order to help buffer the activity of a commercial use from a residential neighborhood, the zoning ordinance requires an 8’ wall along the property line. Given the separation of the uses and the change in grade, the developer believes there is not much benefit to a wall that will block views of the residents and has, therefore, requested a variance to eliminate the wall. The Board of Adjustment (BOA) has the authority to consider and approve deviations from the zoning ordinance. The BOA will consider the variance at their meeting on April 16. Notice will be sent to neighbors, published in the newspaper, and the public is invited to attend and speak regarding this item. The BOA could approve, approve with conditions, or deny the requested variance

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