Planning Commission approves zoning changes, special use permit

The special-use permit and zoning changes needed for the construction of Carson City's new Regional Medical Center were approved by members of the Planning Commission Wednesday.

Planning Commission member Roger Sedway abstained from the vote because he is a hospital employee.

This approval is one of the last hurdles for Carson-Tahoe Hospital officials, who want to build the center on Carson City's north end. The vote was 5-1. Along with Sedway's abstention, another commission member, Wayne Pedlar, was absent.

Hospital officials and experts fielded a few questions during the meeting but the measures -- which included a water use request, a building height requirement and construction of a helipad -- sailed through the process with little opposition.

"This project is a diamond in terms of economic development," said Walt Sullivan, planning and community development director. "And I'd like to commend all of you for this project. You brought us a real quality design. It's been a joy to work on."

Some of the measures will be submitted to Carson City supervisors for final approval.

Located on 55 acres between Eagle Ranch Road and Highway 395 in north Carson City, the building will stand three stories high with a partial basement. The plan allows for 590 parking spaces.

About three times the size of the current hospital, the new building will be 338,000 square feet.

Hospital officials say the new facility will provide a higher standard of care for people in the region.

To fund the project, hospital officials will go out for $95 million in bonding, the rest, about $37 million, will be generated internally, said Chief Financial Officer Michael Blair.

Officials from Standard and Poor's will arrive Feb. 12 and once they have determined the bond rating, hospital officials will pursue bonding, probably in April or May.

Ground breaking is set for June, and completion of the hospital in June 2005.


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