To the Editor: Hospital neighbor wants input on expansion plans
Written by Gerald Trudeau   
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 10:24
As a neighbor of the Wood County Hospital, I would like to make sure the rest of the hospital's neighbors understand the ramifications of the proposed zoning change from S-3 Planned Institutional to I-1. The main effect is that it removes the requirement for public comment on any proposed hospital expansions. This means that the neighbors would have no ability to make comment to the planning commission or council about hospital plans that will influence their quality of life and property values. It looks to me as if the current hospital administration simply wants to remove its pesky neighbors from the process.
The problem is that the hospital is the oddity here. It is one institution in the middle of a residential area, and as such, it should be subject to at least a little extra scrutiny. There are many quality of life and property value issues that hospital expansion can and does affect. Lighting, landscaping, screening, setbacks, damage from snow removal and grounds crews, and combined storm and sanitary sewer overflows from inadequate storm water retention are all issues I've dealt with as a neighbor of the hospital. This is only an incomplete list of my issues. I am certain that many of the hospitals other neighbors have their own issues.
Taking away the neighbors' and public's right to comment on plans that affect our quality of life and property value is a slap in the face to the hospital's neighbors. I ask that neighbors of the hospital and concerned citizens talk to their council members and attend planning and council meetings regarding this rezoning and make your opinions known. Again, changing the zoning from S-3 Planned Institutional to I-1 Institutional does not inhibit hospital expansion in any way, it only removes public comment from the process. Is there something in the current hospital administration's plans that would cause serious objections from their neighbors? I wonder.
Gerald Trudeau
Bowling Green

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