Monday, May 22, 2017

Concerns remain over new Penrose-St. Francis hospital project

Posted By on Mon, May 22, 2017 at 4:50 PM

click to enlarge The eastern portion of the hospital property is shown to be in a landslide-susceptible zone. - COLORADO GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
  • Colorado Geological Survey
  • The eastern portion of the hospital property is shown to be in a landslide-susceptible zone.

A plan to again change plans for the Penrose-St. Francis hospital project at Centennial Boulevard and Fillmore Street has received pushback from neighbors.

According to the agenda item for the May 23 City Council meeting, Penrose-St. Francis wants to cut the height of the proposed hospital from 200 feet to 165 feet, add 28 acres to the 51-acre site and expand the facility from about 1 million square feet to 1.8 million square feet.

See the proposal here.

Penrose-St. Francis is seeking modifications of its earlier plan, including rezoning.

After one public meeting on the proposed hospital last fall, a group of residents formed and worked with Penrose officials, but concerns remain.

In a nutshell, those concerns are, according to the city:
• The proposed maximum building height of 200 feet (which had already been approved with the prior zoning);
• The impacts of the building height to the character of the Mesa area;
• Geologic issues associated with the property and placement of the building;
• Traffic concerns along both Fillmore Street and Centennial Boulevard;
• Light and noise pollution;
• Drainage from the site and impacts to properties to the east.

Anthony and Sandra Wells wrote a letter to the city expressing concerns about the "black eye" the hospital will create on the skyline and how the hospital's size "is not in harmony with the other nearby properties developed."

The Wellses also raise the question of traffic volumes to be generated by the hospital, notably "the accessibility in the winter due to Fillmore Hill could be an issue."

Also, the Fillmore Heights Owners Association, members of which live directly east and downslope from the proposed hospital, have hired attorney Bruce Wright. Wright wrote to the city in August and again in March expressing "concerns over the geologic stability of that slope [being] heightened if additional overburden (from either fill or, even more significantly, from the proposed hospital building) are placed on top of what appears to be a currently unstable slope."

There's concern over drainage as well. If you'll recall, the veterans clinic was built with faulty drainage, as noted by the EPA in a report to the city a couple of years ago.

We'll try to circle back after Council acts on the changes to the hospital plan.

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