The City Council will consider rescinding the part of last year’s new comprehensive land use plan that allowed a medical office building to be proposed next to a residential area behind Saratoga Hospital.
The council this week scheduled a public hearing on changing the designation of the 16-acre site at Myrtle and Morgan streets from the current “institutional” to “residential” for just before the March 15 council meeting.
The land, which is vacant, is currently zoned for residential use, but the new comprehensive plan called for future institutional use of the property. While other parts of the plan were controversial, neighborhood opponents of the medical building pointed out that the Morgan Street change was made late in the process, with little public discussion.
The change in the comprehensive plan was sought by Saratoga Hospital, which then cited it as justification when it applied last year for the zoning change needed to allow the hospital to construct the proposed office building.
The hospital’s plan appears to have met defeat last month, after neighbors filed a petition objecting to the zoning change sought by the hospital. The petition forced the council to have a four-fifths majority to approve the change — and that is impossible, since Mayor Joanne Yepsen and Accounts Commissioner John Franck both recused themselves from voting on the project, leaving only three votes available.
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