A local physician wants to establish her medical practice in the historic Wayside Inn and Meeting Center at Locust Grove and Wilton roads.
Dr. Jama Peacock, a Greenfield native, said Thursday she has an option to purchase the property but needs zoning changed slightly so health care is a permitted use at the 14-acre site.
Several town residents attended Thursday’s Town Board meeting to urge the town to “fast track” the approval process so Peacock can remain in the town and serve town residents.
The historic property has been owned by Dale and Karen Shook for 20 years. It was on the real estate market last year for $1.6 million.
The main farmhouse, and former stagecoach stop, dates back to 1786 but has been completely renovated and turned into a bed and breakfast and meeting center. The Shooks over the years have added three meeting and conference rooms in and near old barns on the property.
Peacock said Thursday she has had offers to practice medicine in the Capital Region and out of state.
“I want to stay here,” she said.
Last year Peacock received a $100,000 loan from the town’s federal Urban Development revolving loan fund to renovate the old general store at Route 9N and South Greenfield Road as an office for her new medical practice.
This project didn’t work out as planned and Peacock had to move her practice out of the renovated structure in recent months. The issue is the subject of litigation that Peacock said she can’t discuss.
Town Board members said Thursday the planned unit development (PUD) status for the Wayside Inn property, basically a rezoning of the property obtained by the Shooks, would have to be amended to include a medical practice.
The board voted to refer the amended PUD request to the town Planning Board and town Environmental Commission for their recommendations.
Brian Bishop of the Greenfield Fire Protection District said Peacock has been the district’s physician and has done an excellent job.
Bishop urged the Town Board to expedite the zoning process so Peacock remains in Greenfield to practice medicine.
Francine Grinnell of Greenfield Center said Peacock is her physician. She said Peacock always finds adequate time for her patients. She is also “someone right on the cutting edge of medicine” because she finished medical school within the past two years, Grinnell said.
“I feel privileged to have her as my doctor,” Grinnell said.
Peacock said she would like to retain the other approved uses of the Wayside Inn property for such uses as business meetings and receptions. She said she would locate her medical practice to exisiting space within the complex.
Town Board members said it would take about 60 days to consider the amended zoning for the property. The Town Board has the final say on rezoning requests, such as an amended planned unit development request.
The Shooks received PUD approval for all the uses on their property over the past two years so the project is well known by the town Planning Board. The Town Board will have to hold a public hearing on the project prior to considering any zoning change for it. This hearing has not yet been scheduled.
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