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Next stop for hospital - Planning Commission

December 09, 2005|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

The next step toward a new Washington County Hospital on Robinwood Drive is a review of the site plan in the next few months, county officials said Thursday.

County Administrator Rodney Shoop said the hospital project is in the midst of a "fast track" review.

Michael Thompson, the county's planning director, said in a voice-mail message that a hospital site plan might reach the Planning Commission in February.

That won't happen until the county's Board of Zoning Appeals issues a written opinion of its approval of two variance requests, Thompson said.

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The Board of Zoning Appeals voted 4-1 Wednesday to approve each of the variances.

One variance, for setbacks, will let the new hospital directly adjoin Robinwood Medical Center.

The other variance will let helicopters and ambulances serve the hospital and will let the hospital building stand taller than the height allowed by the zoning ordinance.

Clint Wiley, the Board of Zoning Appeals chairman, said the written decision will be issued within the next two weeks.

The county is working with Washington County Health System, the hospital's parent company, on other issues.

Shoop said the county is talking to architects and engineers for the project to make sure they abide by new standards, which the county recently adopted, for electrical wiring, heating, ventilation, plumbing and construction.

Shoop said the city is starting to talk to the City of Hagerstown about water and sewer capacity for the hospital.

The city has forwarded a county flow-transfer proposal to the Maryland Department of the Environment, which is overseeing the city's plan to limit and monitor sewage use.

The county has money set aside for road-improvement projects at Dual Highway where it meets Mount Aetna Road and Edgewood Drive, Shoop said.

Both projects are considered directly related to the hospital's proposed move to Robinwood Drive, Shoop said.

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