The Clifton Park Planning Board has granted a one year site plan approval extension to an Ellis Hospital for its proposal to expand its existing facility on Sitterly Road.
The board approved the extension during its board meeting last Tuesday night. The project was originally approved in March of this year.
The plans called for a 62,000-square-foot expansion to the Ellis Medical Center building, effectively doubling the structure in size. The addition was meant to function as an ambulatory surgery center, which will offer consumers a place for outpatient or same-day surgery.
However, in September, Ellis announced that it would be scrap those plans for now, and that it had notified the state Department of Health it was withdrawing the proposal.
The site measures just over 11 total acres. The existing center measures 38,200 square feet.
Originally, the Ellis project was approved with stipulations, including a promise from Ellis to mitigate any stormwater flooding issues that may come up at the request of Northstar Chevrolet, which sits on the neighboring property and often sees runoff water from the site.
Clifton Park Planning Director John Scavo noted that, while the board had approved the original site plans on a contingent basis, they had not yet put a final stamp on them, as the hospital had not yet applied for a building permit.
The extension would keep those approved plans valid for one more year, before Ellis would have to come back to the board to seek a re-approval.
“They are not moving forward this year,” Clifton Park Planning Director John Scavo said to the board on Tuesday. “They want to move forward in the next calendar year.”
While representatives from the hospital did not comment on the extension during Tuesday’s meeting, back in September a hospital statement said that it was putting the plans on pause due to a shift in priorities.
“Ellis Medicine has worked closely with area physicians in an effort to develop a financially viable business plan for a multi-specialty ambulatory surgery center on property we own adjacent to our Medical Center of Clifton Park,” the statement from the hospital said.
“This plan has required continuous adjustments during that time to reflect the many ongoing changes in the national healthcare landscape and in our regional market. After much evaluation and discussion, we have determined that the timing is not right for this ASC project, and Ellis will instead shift our focus and begin exploring an expansion of other healthcare services on our Clifton Park campus that will better meet the community’s needs and better utilize Ellis’ resources.”