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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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7/26/2012 12:01:00 AM
Prescott amends land-use to allow for YRMC's north campus

PRESCOTT - The plan for a new "North Campus" of Yavapai Regional Medical Center crossed its first approval hurdle Tuesday.

In a unanimous vote, the Prescott City Council approved a change in the Prescott General Plan to allow for "commercial/employment" uses on 586 acres of ranchland north of the Prescott Airport that previously had a planning designation of "agricultural/ranching."

The move came, in part, at the request of Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC), which hopes to use about 180 acres of the ranchland for a new north campus.

Officials from both the hospital and the city emphasized, however, that the general plan amendment would be just the first step in what could be years of planning and negotiations.

Among the next steps would be: annexation of the land - currently in unincorporated Yavapai County - into Prescott city limits; a detailed site plan; and development agreements between the city and YRMC.

City Manager Craig McConnell noted that the general plan change was necessary before the annexation could proceed.

While the land is outside Prescott corporate limits, it still was a part of the city's existing 2003 general plan, which extended to areas outside city limits for long-term planning purposes, McConnell said.

At the time of a major general-plan amendment in 2008 that took in 2,600 acres west of the airport, the owner of the 586 acres, Deep Well Ranches, did not "anticipate future development of this part of its holdings," according to a city memo, and the land remained as agricultural.

But since then, the hospital and the James family, the owners of the ranchland, have been discussing a possible donation of property for a new hospital campus between Prescott and Chino Valley.

In June, the hospital announced a "sizable donation" of land from the James family. The family also has made earlier donations to YRMC's Heart Center at the hospital's West Campus in Prescott, as well as the Elks Opera House and the Prescott YMCA.

YRMC Chief Executive Officer Tim Barnett told the council that the new campus would serve an area that is anticipated for significant growth in the future.

"We looked at where the growth in the community is," Barnett said, noting that plans already are in place for a number of new subdivisions and roads in the northeast Prescott area.

"As the community grows, we like to make sure we grow with it," Barnett said. "As our population changes, we make sure that we've got facilities in the right locations."

Barnett added that YRMC's existing campuses in Prescott and Prescott Valley would not suffer as a result of the new northern campus.

"We have made significant investments on both the east and west campuses," he told the council. "What we do to the north will not diminish that at all."

After the meeting, Barnett estimated that the new North Campus could "be built out over 20 or 30 years."

He told the council that the East Campus in Prescott Valley was also a long-term project. "We acquired the Prescott Valley land in the mid-1980s, and the hospital didn't appear until 2006," he said.

Describing the land as just north of the Prescott Airport, and east of Highway 89, Community Development Director Tom Guice told the council that, "Given the proximity of the land to the airport, staff believes this (commercial/employment) is the most appropriate designation."

At 586 acres, the general-plan amendment takes in considerably more acreage than the 180 acres of the hospital site. McConnell attributed that to state regulations on annexations, which require that annexed areas be contiguous with existing city land. "You have to connect it," he explained.

In response to a question from the council about the new campus' access onto Highway 89, McConnell said the Arizona Department of Transportation has been involved in discussions.

After the meeting, he said the proposed highway access would be about one mile north of the proposed Ruger Road roundabout.










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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, July 29, 2012
Article comment by: Everett Townsend

Prescott's aging population will require a significantly rapid increase of medical services. Most locals travel to the Valley or Flagstaff for their preference in specialized medical services. Prescott could look to this major need as a potential Economic driver

Posted: Saturday, July 28, 2012
Article comment by: hmm wow

One guy:

There are more than three trauma centers in AZ

There are five in the Phoenix area alone


Posted: Saturday, July 28, 2012
Article comment by: One guy's opinion

The state of Arizona will NOT license a 4th trauma center - much less in a rural locale.

This won't be an ADDITIONAL YRMC campus, it will the REPLACEMENT for the current campus which is landlocked, old, lacking parking, etc.

*If* Health Care Reform stands at is - hospitals will stand to gain substantially as their mandate to provide free services to anyone that walks in their door will become profitable since everyone, technically, will have health insurance.

Brilliant move on the part of YRMC.

Time to start picking up some properties in the area for the soon-to-be-here development in the neighborhood.


Posted: Saturday, July 28, 2012
Article comment by: to: Yukon Jack

In case you have not been watching, the County does not rezone property so they do not have to approve nor accept responsibility for the development's new improvements. The County does not provide services needed for new development nor do they want to. The County does not want the responsibility for anything if they can help it, and they can. If you have to ask, the answer is No.

Posted: Saturday, July 28, 2012
Article comment by: Concerned Over Health Care System

The last thing we need is another bricks/mortar building
calling itself a hospital. We don't have enough physicians to cover one hospital, yet we have two. The citizens of this region are not getting the type of health care necessary and those with good insurance coverage are leaving the area for their health care -- going to Phoenix or Flagstaff. Does the current hospital administration know the amount of health care dollars that leave the vicinity? I think not.

The Prescott City Council needs to start studying these issues very carefully before they decide to 'rezone' or amend land use, especially when it is for something that is totally unnecessary to this community. Building a third hospital, without enough physicians to cover the current health care needs is not what this community needs.

Personally, I'm getting tired of the "one hand washes the other" of this "old boy" network. I think its time to shake up/wake up the hospital administration as well as the City Council.


Posted: Saturday, July 28, 2012
Article comment by: pv cowboy

Trauma centers are what's known in the hospital industry as "necessary evils"

They are guaranteed money losers, period.



Posted: Friday, July 27, 2012
Article comment by: Let's change our way of thinking! Time for a change!

I believe that a trauma center would be the most logical and better choice for the money. It is a shame that an area the size of the quad cities have no trauma center or transportation system.

It appears that it is time for a change in the thinking of the corporate and city officials making financial decisions. The amount of time and money spent to fly people to Flagstaff and Phoenix is way out of proportion to what a trauma center could provide.

And, no snarky comments are necessary or appreciated.


Posted: Friday, July 27, 2012
Article comment by: TO very interesting

"Money may be available for a new campus but what about a trauma center at the existing locations?"

This enterprise will produce more income than a trauma center.

It's always about money, and who they share it with.


Posted: Friday, July 27, 2012
Article comment by: A third Yavapai Regional Medical Center?

Why? Prescott LOST population over the last ten years. It is doubtful it will get much larger in the next ten. Why not invest in the two already in operation? And make one of them a trauma center. I have heard of numerous residents that move to the Valley (Mayo) from Prescott as they get older and require more professional medical attention. If we had a full-service hospital perhaps more people would consider moving to Prescott.

Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2012
Article comment by: Not Another Campus

Why another campus? YRMC cannot fill the positions it has now. Take a look at Flagstaff. They have one hospital that is a trauma center that can meet the demands of its community just fine as well as take in patients from other areas (such as the quad cities). Why not take that money expand the East campus (AGAIN) and turn it in to a level 2 trauma center. I know that takes specialty doctors, surgeons, rooms etc etc however that is something that is needed in this area. Currently many people are flown to valley trauma centers or to Flagstaff at a considerable cost to the patient. Having a trauma center in the area would make much more sense than building another campus that will mot likely sit there and act more as a clinic. I hope the directors at YRMC consider an alternative to their current plans. Its a joke, this community does not need another hospital.


Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2012
Article comment by: pv cowboy

The East campus still has holes in its physician call schedule each month, 6 years after opening...

Cereally??

Please let Banner come in and take over the East Campus already.

Then you all will see how a real hospital system works!


Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2012
Article comment by: Virginia Meyers

Isn't anyone worried about the monopoly that YRMC has on hospital services in Yavapai County? It's well documented that businesses strive to provide better services when they have competition. This goes for medical services as well. As for a new facility in Chino, I hear from my friends who work at YRMC-PV that the facility is under utilized and that doctors don't want to work there. One of my doctors who came up here from Scottsdale said that the hospital makes it very difficult to get hospital privileges, so new doctors are reluctant to come here as a result of the politics. And considering the poor care reported by some of my friends, I hope and pray I don't have to go there - and I have insurance!

Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2012
Article comment by: Cereally .

What a wonderful addition this will be. When minutes count there will now be a facility closer to handle people from Chino, Paulden, Ash Fork and all those areas in between. It's a great expansion on behalf of YRMC.

Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2012
Article comment by: Very Interesting

Money may be available for a new campus but what about a trauma center at the existing locations?

Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2012
Article comment by: Just Curious

YRMC can't staff the facilities they have now, just curious as to what the plan would entail ?? Yes, and there goes the beautiful views left along that stretch of roadway. Sad ... no one ever seems to look at the big picture, all around.

Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2012
Article comment by: Yukon Jack

Why does the land need to be annexed at all? Is there some law preventing hospitals in the county? Is the city government in the hospital's pocket and the county isn't? What gives here?

I don't like living within the city limits and I don't want them coming any closer! Just another layer of government!


Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Steele

I saw no where in the article where all the "new" water was coming from? Local government and their development friends seem to think "if you build it water will come". Well, common sense would dictate the new water would have to come first by law. It's past time for the movers and shakers to come down to earth and realize our future needs jobs that will sustain our community without building us out of water PERIOD! These unemployed and under employed construction people need to find good paying work that will not further reduce our water table. This can be done if the Arizona legislature and local government provide incentives to bring good industry from California here now. The time is right. California is in sad shape and over taxing their businesses and citizens. Our time is limited act now!

Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2012
Article comment by: tired of it all

Well there go the views here as well. And what of the Pronghorn that frequent the area. Oh, that's right, the government doesn't care about the wildlife in the area. Let's just keep building.



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