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Appeal process could take months

January 21, 2006|By Andrew Schotz

It might take months before legal challenges of two zoning issues connected to a proposed new hospital are heard in court.

An attorney representing a citizens' group filed the challenges in Washington County Circuit Court on Thursday.

On Friday, Dennis J. Weaver, Washington County's clerk of the circuit court, said the court first will notify the Washington County Board of Zoning Appeals, whose December approvals are being challenged.

The zoning board will have 60 days to file a complete record of the proceedings, although an extension could be granted, Weaver said.

The zoning board also will notify Washington County Health System, which is trying to build a new hospital on Robinwood Drive. The health system will have 30 days to respond, Weaver said.

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Once the transcript is submitted, the court will notify parties in the case, who will have 30 days to file memorandums that explain their positions.

After the position papers are filed, court dates will be scheduled. The wait from that point could be two months or longer, Weaver said.

Meanwhile, Washington County government officials have been reviewing elements of the health system's plan for the new hospital. James Hamill, the health system's president and chief executive officer, said the site plan is expected to be on the county planning commission's agenda next month.

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