HNC votes to pass hospital expansion plan on to City

HNC votes to pass hospital expansion plan on to City   

[10/3/11]  This week the Hospital/Neighborhood Committee (HNC) – a nine-member group of individuals representing Oaklawn Hospital, the surrounding neighborhood, the Historical Society, the City, and the community at large – voted to send a formal long-range hospital expansion plan on to the mayor to be reviewed by city government for possible adoption.  Charged with the task of creating a 20-year expansion plan that would be acceptable to the hospital and the community, members of the committee met more than 20 times over the last 16 months and were aided by extensive input from consultants with expertise in building & landscape architecture, zoning & planning, parking & traffic flow, and historic preservation.  The committee also worked closely with Marshall’s city manager and zoning & planning administrator in developing the proposal.

We were very pleased with the spirit of collaboration that was evident from the start of the process. In early August the committee members were given copies of the four-document proposal that not only addresses the expansion zone boundaries, but also the building & landscaping requirements, signage and usages, and a Development Agreement with the City outlining a procedure for announcing and reviewing any planned actions by the Hospital that would impact buildings within the expansion zone that are contributing structures to the National Historic Landmark District.  The proposal was also circulated or presented to various interest groups including the Chamber of Commerce, the DDA, the Marshall Historical Society, and Marshall Manufacturers Association; and the public was invited to last Monday’s HNC meeting to comment on the plan prior to the committee discussing and voting on a final version.

Over 50 people attended the meeting and the committee listened for approximately 90 minutes as 20 people came forward to comment.  Following public input the committee made some minor changes or clarifications, before voting to send the proposal on to City Council and the Planning Commission.  Speakers uniformally complimented and thanked the committee for all their work and expressed their hope that through compromise, a final version could be adapted by the City that could aid the Hospital, while still offering protection to the Historic Landmark District and recognizing the needs of the neighborhood.

We appreciate all those who took the time to offer input and support at this stage of the planning, and look forward to your continued participation as it moves through the Planning Commission and City Council review in the months to come.

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