Planning Board Approves Controversial Zoning Change That Benefits Hospital

At their meeting on June 20th the Saratoga Springs Planning Board unanimously approved an advisory opinion to the City Council that will allow Saratoga Hospital to build a medical office building.

The opinion that was presented by Board member Jamin Totino recommends that the zoning designation be Office/Medical business-1 rather than Office/Medical business-2, the original designation recommended by the consultants as part of their draft Unified Development Ordinances. The recommendation offers:

“A designation of OMB-1 allows less intensity and fewer permitted uses to ensure retention and community character and limit adverse impacts to surrounding neighborhoods and institutions.”

Excluded from the original designation (OMB-2) would be hospitals, nursing homes, and convalescent homes. The medical office facility that the hospital was planning for the parcel would still be allowed.

An article published in the June 21st Times Union reported that the neighbors consider the decision a defeat for them and told the Times Union they plan to seek legal action.

As I noted in my original piece, the Planning Board’s charge was extremely narrow. They were asked to advise on a zoning designation that would properly implement the comprehensive plan’s determination which included allowing for a medical office building.

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