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Thread: Hospital impacts in rural communities

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Earl Finkler's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Barrow, Alaska
    Posts
    190

    Hospital impacts in rural communities

    Hello ---30 degrees and quite windy in Barrow today.
    Snow is starting to stay, rather than melt away.

    There is a new hospital up for rezoning in our town of 4200 people. We need a new hospital and this one will be appreciated.
    But the proposed site is right next to a single family residential area.
    So some neighbors are raising traffic conderns and questions about other impacts.
    Anyone have experience with a hospital going in a residential area ---positive or negative impacts?

    One neighbor testifying at an earlier hearing said well he was glad he would be able to just walk from his house to the hospital when he got older and needed services.

    Earl
    Earl the Farthest North Cub Fan

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 1998
    Location
    Greensburg, Kansas
    Posts
    2,948
    Hospitals need room for expansion and parking after that expansion. Hospitals sites should have adjacent undeveloped land for spin off development of doctors' offices and such. There should also be sufficient land for helicopter to land. A berm separating the medical services from adjacent residential uses is better than a tree line. There should be no access from local residential streets. Remember that a hospital is a 24 hour activity.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2003
    Location
    "Somewhere in the middle"
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    3,160
    Well I would tend to disagree with Mike.
    Let's start with a little history. The original hospital was built at the end of about a five block long downtown area. My grandmother lived less than 1 mile away. She used to volunteer a few days a week. She had no car and walked everywhere. Had the hospital been on the outskirts of town, she would never been able to do that. She did her downtown shopping and worked at a local flower shop which also delivered many a flower to the hospital.
    There was a strip mall that had a Sears in it. That was in the mid 70's. Fast forward 30 years. The strip mall closed and the hospital did put in a wonderful Dr's office complex. They also expanded across the street and took out a bunch of run down housing that holds a parking garage and a new cancer treatment center.

    The neighbors did draw a line as the hospital edged toward the more historic houses. The emergency entrance is smak dab in the middle of residential housing. The ambulances turn off thier sirens as they round the corner into the houses.

    We just moved out of a house we had purchased there. The hospital was a great neighbor. There were abulances and helicopters occassionally but completely understandable anyone that does not have enough compassion to deal with that has problems that we can't deal with here.
    The Dr.s offices were right out my back door. Who could be a better neighbor??? They come in when I was gone to work and go home when I am home. They take very good care of their property. They cleaned out worthless property and made it attractive and useful again. It is great infill..

    Plus it is a regional medical center serving way more than 4200 people. We had no traffic issue and just asked that they turn off the siren.

    I wish you well...
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Someplace between yesterday and tomorrow.
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    12,268
    Similar case in Marquette Michigan

    It can be a positive for the neighborhood if there is an upfront long term plan for the hospital. Problem that Marquette had was the hospital was expanding in stages in a hodge podge form with the use of PUDís.

    Our senior project at the neighboring university was to look at options, and determine that an institutional overlay district was the best case scenario without changing the zoning.

    Other suggestions include having a set location as far away from residential homes as possible for the Emergency Services. Additionally, encourage the use of a parking garage for all parking. By minimizing service parking, the foot print and snow removal area are greatly reduced. Additionally, it makes it safer and easier for the car to building pedestrian traffic.

    Finally, encourage (or require if your ordinance permits it) design standards where the building will not visually oppose the neighborhood. This can be done by encouraging materials such as brick facades, 6 over 6 windows, and sloped roof lines for the outer most sections. Then have a step-back with for remaining height.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Earl Finkler's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Barrow, Alaska
    Posts
    190

    Response from Arctic medical center

    Hi all of you --
    thanks for quick and thoughtful perspectives. Boy, since I posted the question,we've been hit with a super big wind storm ---winds to 40 mph and more.
    Coincidence?
    Some great ideas from the responses. Hope the many positive aspects come thru loud and clear.

    Thanks again.

    Earl
    Earl the Farthest North Cub Fan

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