P & Z votes in favor of rezoning for long-term acute care hospital

Thursday, March 20, 2008 | 11:36 p.m. CDT; updated 11:01 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission voted 5-3 in favor of rezoning a tract of land at the northeast corner of Alfred Street and Old 63 during a meeting Thursday night. The commission will make a recommendation to City Council in support of the rezoning, and the council will then make the final decision.

A long-term acute care hospital, called “Landmark Hospital,” has been proposed for the site, which is currently zoned for residential development. It will need to be rezoned for planned office development to build the facility.

The commission also voted 6-2 approving the proposed facility plan, though adding that they would like all sides of the building to be made of brick and that they would like the developers to make improvements to Alfred Street.

“We’re very happy with the decision,” development consultant Jay Burchfield said after the meeting. “We strongly feel this is an appropriate use of the land.”

The decision disappointed over 30 members of the Country Club Estates Neighborhood Association who were present at the meeting to oppose the rezoning.

“We do not feel this will be an improvement to our neighborhood,” said Bob Hutton, member of Country Club Estates.

Hutton and several residents commented during the public hearing that they questioned what sort of precedent this would set for future development of residential land in the area.

The long-term acute care hospital would be a single-story, 32,000 square-foot building that consists of 42 beds. The average length of stay for patients, who would be transferred there from surrounding hospitals in order to receive further care, would be 25 days.

The Missouri Health Facilities Review Committee approved a certificate of need in October for Landmark Holdings to build the long-term acute care hospital in Columbia. After looking at over 20 possible sites around the city, developers determined that the site off Old 63 would be appropriate because of its size and proximity to the medical community, among other factors.

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