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Fri, Feb. 21

Prescott Valley P&Z Commission plans rezoning hearing for YRMC; PAD would ease review process for regional hospital in PV

PRESCOTT VALLEY — It's still a few years away, but Yavapai Regional Medical Center's long-range plans to build a regional hospital in Prescott Valley took another step forward Monday.

The Prescott Valley Planning and Zoning Commission agreed to call for a public hearing to rezone a parcel north of Florentine Road and west of Windsong Drive as a public lands planned area development (PAD), to accommodate the phased construction of an inpatient hospital.

Community Development Director Richard Parker said that the commission would not be premature to call for rezoning. YRMC is working with the town on a development agreement for the hospital, the anchor for the medical portion of the new downtown area.

Early discussions establish a population of 140,000 to 145,000 as a trigger number at which YRMC would consider the first phase of construction, a 50-bed inpatient hospital.

That population figure includes residents throughout the YRMC service area – from Seligman to Black Canyon City – Parker said.

The western Yavapai area probably will reach that figure within five years. And since planning a hospital takes three to four years, the starting point is just around the corner, Parker said. "Calling for this hearing does not pre-suppose your action," he said, "only your willingness to consider the zoning for this facility."

Parker said some people questioned the recent addition to YRMC, saying the hospital should have started its plans in Prescott Valley, to serve the rapidly growing area from Prescott Valley to Cordes Junction.

With this development agreement and the correct zoning, the hospital would be on track to start the planning process quickly, without a lot of review.

Parker clarified that the hospital would have to go through the planned area development process reviews if the commission and the council approve the public lands PAD zoning.

However, they wouldn't have to combine those plan and site reviews with the rezoning public hearing process.

Commissioner Robert Laxton said the town and region needs the hospital. The site would be on four major arteries, a big positive. The only question was whether traffic from Highway 69 could reach the site efficiently.

He supported the idea of planning for the hospital early enough to stay ahead of the population.

Commission Chairman Ken Spedding said he supports a hospital, but not spot zoning in the downtown. He wants to see the overall master plan for the downtown.

He's seen references to the downtown master plan in the local newspapers, but wants to see it come through the commission, preferably at the same time as the hospital zoning.

That way, the commission will see how the hospital will fit into the larger picture of the Prescott Valley Town Center plan, he said.

Parker said he would ask YRMC officials to prepare to talk about their master plan for the regional hospital and at the same time, ask the Fain Signature Group and its consultants to go through the downtown master plan.

The two groups may not be ready for the December meeting, he said, but if not, he would make sure the commission gets the full presentation during the January meeting.

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