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Hospital asks for zoning modification

October 22, 2005|By TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN

Washington County Health System asked the county's Board of Zoning Appeals Friday for zoning modifications that would allow a hospital to be built next to Robinwood Medical Center.

The requests include allowing helicopters and ambulances to service the proposed hospital, permission to exceed the 35-foot building height restriction in order to build a five-story, 80-foot structure, and various setback changes.

The health system hopes to replace the current Washington County Hospital on East Antietam Street with a $233 million, 502,608-square-foot hospital on Robinwood Drive.

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The hospital would connect to Robinwood Medical Center at the entrance near the John R. Marsh Cancer Center, according to a written statement from the health system.

"The health system's goal is to build a new hospital at Robinwood Medical Center that will provide state-of-the-art health care for our community," James Hamill, health system president and CEO, said in the statement. "We believe having the hospital at Robinwood is in the best interest of long-term health-care planning. It brings both acute care and outpatient services together in one place, benefiting our patients."

Hamill said in the statement that the current hospital averages 41 ground transports and one air transport daily. Seventy-six percent of the ground transports do not run with lights and sirens.

"The health system hopes for approval of our request by the Board of Zoning Appeals," Hamill said. "Its consent will bring us another step closer to the completion of a regional medical center."

Permits and Inspections Director Daniel DiVito said Friday that an appeals board hearing on the requests might be held on Nov. 9, but it's possible the date will change.

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