Hospital’s neighbors seek increased setback

Despite revisions, neighbors remain opposed to proposal.

By EVAN YOUNG

Nottinghill subdivision residents last week asked the County Council to consider increasing setback and buffer requirements within the St. Anthony’s Medical Center master plan that would expand the hospital campus toward their property lines.

Legislation that would rezone nearly 104 acres of the medical center’s property from a mix of residential and commercial districts to an all-commercial district also was requested of the council last week.

The rezoning would allow St. Anthony’s to proceed with what it terms a 25-year master plan to add new medical offices, parking and other facilities.

The hospital’s master plan calls for the construction of a parking garage, parking lots and a four-story medical office building within a roughly 15-acre stretch of land between Nottinghill subdivision and Sunset Drive.

The land currently is zoned residential, and the subdivision wants to keep it that way, fearing a drop in their homes’ values if the development goes through.

After hearing residents’ concerns, the county Planning Commission last month postponed a decision on the hospital’s re-quest and asked St. Anthony’s to consider changing its plan so that no building or parking structure would be constructed in those 15 acres. The hospital subsequently submitted a revised site plan that:

• Reduces the size of the proposed parking garage from a five-story, 346,756-square-foot structure to a three-story, 105,000-square-foot structure and increases its setback from the Nottinghill boundary to 175 feet from 120 feet.

• Increases the setback of a four-story medical office building and conference center from the Nottinghill boundary to 100 feet from 50 feet.

• Increases the setback of surface parking lots from the Nottinghill boundary to 50 feet from 20 feet.

• Eliminates a 20,000-square-foot central utility plant that would’ve been built 95 feet from the Nottinghill boundary.

• Increases the amount of buffer between the subdivision and St. Anthony’s property, including a 6-foot-high sight-proof fence, 3- to 5-foot berm and “heavy landscaping” on both sides of the fence.

• Limits the height of parking lot lights located within 200 feet of the Nottinghill boundary to 16 feet, which is the standard for subdivisions.

While commissioners voted unanimously May 24 to accept the revised plan, Nottinghill residents remain opposed.

Subdivision trustee Joe Rottman asked councilmen last week to consider additional setback and buffer requirements before approving the rezoning request:

• Increase both the parking lot and office building setbacks from the subdivision property line an additional 50 feet.

• Increase the height and width of the berm.

• Increase the height of the sight-proof fence to 10 feet and use masonry-based material instead of white vinyl.

“I don’t think our requests are outrageous,” Rottman told the council. “I think what we’re really asking is that St. Anthony’s be a good neighbor.”