City hasn’t done due diligence on hospital request
April 14, 2014 10:38 PM | 2190 views | 3 3 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Regardless of whether you believe WellStar Kennestone Hospital’s new ER should go on the triangle between Church and Cherokee, the reality is WellStar is proposing a new 200,000 square foot intensive, commercial project with a multi-story parking deck adjacent to residential neighborhoods. Given this, the City Council has a duty to conduct the same due diligence they would for any other proposed commercial project before moving forward.

At Wednesday night’s Council meeting, more time was spent discussing the impact of five proposed residential homes on the adjacent subdivision than on the impact of this 200,000 square foot expansion and how to mitigate its impact.

If Wal-mart proposed a 200,000 square foot store, with helicopter landings three or four times a week for the corner of Allgood and Scuffle grit, Whitlock Avenue or the triangle, Council would conduct a full analysis of its impact on surrounding residents; including increased traffic, sound pollution, light pollution height impacts, storm water runoff and most likely the aesthetic design. The developers would be required to submit plans and drawings for consideration, not just concepts.

If City Council moves forward and approves the bridge easement without completing their analysis, all hope of mitigating the impact on the community will be lost. Given that WellStar’s land is owned by the Hospital Authority, once the easement is approved, WellStar can do anything it chooses. It could build 700,000 square feet, 20 stories tall and the city would have no recourse.

At Wednesday’s meeting, council members repeatedly stated they hoped WellStar would do the right thing. I don’t recall Marietta ever approving a large development with the hope the applicant would do the right thing. Rather, City Council scrutinizes every minute detail, right down to the placement of shutters on homes, so why not the same evaluation here?

Now is the time to determine the impact of this large expansion, not after the easement is granted. The City Council owes the residents of the surrounding neighborhoods the same due diligence they would for any other project to help mitigate its negative impacts.

Patti Pearlberg


Comments-icon Post a Comment
Do what?
April 18, 2014
Isn't this triangle area already zoned for offices and medical facilities?

If so, then all this due diligence must have been done when it was rezoned, so why is there any need to do it again.?

Doesn't a property owner have the right to build things if the zoning is already in place?

April 15, 2014
Someone wake up Andy Morris and remind him he also represents the folks on the 'other' side of the tracks, unless the executives at Wellstar won't let him off the leash.
just too bad
April 15, 2014
This is just so unfortunate. Wellstar is not going to do anything but try to ram this through. The residents of the area just simply are not as important as this huge hospital complex. And it seems like the plan is to go on and on as far as taking over the area. No one seems to have the will to stop them. And traffic just gets worse and worse.
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