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Thread: Hospitals in industrial zones

  1. #1
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    Hospitals in industrial zones

    Do you guys have any opinions on allowing hospitals and medical parks in industrial zones. We currently only allow them in institutional zones and we're debating a request for text ammendments to allow for this, but the planning board denied because of the loss of valuable industrial tax base, among other things. What do you guys zone hospitals?

  2. #2
    Here, hospitals are permitted in all zoning districts by Special Exception. I agree with the loss of industrial ground (as a negative), but the intrusivness of medical uses, especially if there is emergency services, might be better suited to such a district, as opposed to a low-density residential area. Probably need more info to debate the positives/negatives...
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  3. #3

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    The State of Vermont actually gives hospitals protected status. Municipalities can regulate them, but only to a certain (though poorly defined) extent. Whether that extends to allowing one in any zone has yet to be determined by the courts. So I would check your state's statutes.

    To answer more directly, given the impacts of a major hospital (sirens, helicopters, deliveries, very bulky buildings, very large parking lots or structures), I would most assuredly permit them in at least some industrial districts. Some larger cities have actually created a separate "medical" district.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    You may have a legitimate concern about eliminating valuable industrial land from you city's inventory, depending on the mix of industry you have and your economic development goals. Hospitals are large employers with good jobs. They will attrac related uses, including medical offices, pharmacies, retail, and services for employees and visitors. These things can have a positive effect on the community. On the other hand, if you are facing a limited supply of land for more purely industrial uses, anything that reduces that supply can have a negative impact on your ability to expand existing industries or attract new ones.
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian Big Owl's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    These things can have a positive effect on the community. On the other hand, if you are facing a limited supply of land for more purely industrial uses, anything that reduces that supply can have a negative impact on your ability to expand existing industries or attract new ones.
    It could be considered compliemtary to a industrial district. I would add however that a hospital due to the agglomeration effect, the desire of medical offices, pharmacies, and other related uses to be close would be best located where these uses could be accomadated in a effort to reduce miles traveled. We do allow uses as accessory uses in industrial districts such as daycare, medical clinics and resturants/cafeterias, but not as stand alone uses.

    I would imagine it is a community hospital and not a research hospital, but if it were i would see it slightly different. It could be a magnet for research instutions and drug companies.

    Just some thoughts

  6. #6

    Medical Services Zones

    The small city of Idaho Falls, ID [pop: 51,000] recently created a medical services zone to provide for 24 hour access to medical services and services for employees of medical establishments who work swing shift or graveyard shift. Services include small retail, bank branch, convenience store, drug store and related retail sales, but not fast food with drive thru. The zone provides for medical centers, walk-in medical care including dentist, etc.

    There are several large parcels of land within the town limits near two co-located hospitals that could qualify for this zone, but neither are currently zoned industrial. However, renewal of an older industrial area on the west side of town, adjacent to an Interstate, will benefit from the use of this zone and one walk-in clinic and a daycare center, also allowed by the zone, are being built on cleared industrial sites. The medical services zone is working well, so far, to promote access to 24-hr health care in a small town that is just now waking up to the 24x7 global economy.

    I expect that Walgreens or a chain like it will eventually locate in one of these industrial zoned parcels. which if rezoned to medical services would be attractive for a retailer/drug store that wants to provide 24 hours service. The current Walgreens on the East side of town in Idaho Falls is limited in its hours of operations to 7 AM to 11 PM by the zone it is in and the fact that it is next to a single family residential zone. Our planning commission advised Walgreens when they selected the parcel that they subsequently built on that the zone for that site would restrict the hours of operation. However, they've since been in to try and get that requirement overturned, but the commission rejected their application for the change. There is no 24 hour pharmacy in the city at this time.
    Last edited by djysrv; 04 Jun 2005 at 10:26 AM. Reason: typos

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