(Posted Feb. 9, 2017)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Madison Health is seeking property zoning changes in connection with its upcoming expansion and renovation project at its main campus in London.
The hospital plans to start construction this year on a 24,000 square-foot, two-story addition on the front of the hospital, facing Main Street. A new emergency department will occupy the first floor. A cancer center and offices for medical specialists will occupy the second floor.
The hospital’s plans also include connecting the Park Avenue Medical Building to the main hospital, reallocating space in the hospital for an improved layout, and upgrading the heating, cooling and mechanical systems.
The requested zoning changes are for the Park Avenue side of the campus. In late 2016, the hospital acquired properties at 9 Park Ave. and 17 Park Ave. The hospital wants to rezone those properties from residential to “medical park district” to match the rest of the campus.
The hospital also owns the parcel at 15 Park Ave. Single-family homes sit on all three parcels. The plan is to demolish all three homes, two of them this year and the third at a future date, said Bob Waldeck, the hospital’s vice president of strategy and construction management.
“We plan to open up the Park Avenue side of the campus for a new outpatient face to the hospital,” Waldeck said. The idea is to create a park-like setting between the hospital and Cowling Park, along with additional parking.
The hospital also is requesting a zoning change for the parking lot already serving the Park Avenue Medical Building. The lot is zoned residential and needs to be updated to medical park district.
The London Planning Commission held a public hearing on the hospital’s zoning change requests on Dec. 22. The commission forwarded the application to city council with a recommendation for approval.
City council held a first reading on the requests at its Feb. 2 meeting. A public hearing is scheduled for council’s March 16 meeting, which starts at 6:30 p.m.
In other action, council:
- authorized the Board of Public Utilities to advertise for bids and enter into a contract for lime sludge removal;
- assigned a $4,981 donation from Stanley Electric to the recreation department for the purchase of an outdoor movie theater;
- held a first reading on an updated strength ordinance, the document that sets the number of full-time workers each department can hire to fit each job description.
- held a first reading on a request that would allow the shade tree commission to not only plant trees around town, but also perennials. The group hopes to start the plantings this spring.
Additionally, Joe Mosier, safety-service director, stated that the city is close to sending out a new bid packet for renovations at 20 S. Walnut St. The city is looking at moving many of the city offices to the former school building.
The next regular council meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 16 in council chambers, 6 E. Second St. Other meetings include:
- Finance committee—6 p.m. Feb. 13;
- Historic Review Board—4 p.m. Feb. 14;
- Tree commission—5 p.m. Feb. 21;
- Public safety committee—7 p.m. Feb. 21;
- City properties committee—7 p.m. Feb. 22; and
- Board of Public Utilities—6:30 p.m. Feb. 23.
All meetings take place in council chambers except public safety, which meets at the police department.