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City Planning Board starting work on health sciences building

The city of Hendersonville will clear a one-acre lot to make way for the new health sciences building. The city of Hendersonville will clear a one-acre lot to make way for the new health sciences building.

The Hendersonville Planning Board will take up code amendments today needed to clear the way for construction of the new health sciences building on the Pardee Hospital campus.


City planners say they must add college classrooms as a permitted use in the medical, institutional and cultural (MIC) zone and eliminate the 50,000-square-foot limit on non-residential buildings in the MIC.
"During the initial discussions on the proposed new Health Sciences facility associated with Wingate University and Blue Ridge Community College, a couple of zoning issues came to light," planners said in a memo to the Planning Board.
A joint project of Henderson County, the city of Hendersonville, Wingate University, Blue Ridge Community College and Pardee Hospital, the building is now projected to be about 78,000 square feet. It will hold classrooms and labs for Wingate's pharmacy, physician assistant and graduate business degree programs with the projected addition of physical therapy and four-year nursing degree programs; BRCC's allied health degrees, and offices and medical clinics for Pardee Hospital and potentially its health care partner, Blue Ridge Community Health Services.
The city's role in the five-party agreement is to buy the property, on Sixth Avenue at Oak Street, and clear it so Henderson County can start construction. The Board of Commissioners have authorized borrowing of up to $25 million for the project.
The city planning staff recommends an ordinance amendment that permits buildings larger than 50,000 square feet as a special use in the MIC zone. And it has asked the Planning Board to add post-secondary, business, technical and vocational schools as a permitted use in the MIC zone.

 

The text amendments is the first work the Planning Board and City Council are expected to take up for fast-track approval of the permitting process. Under deadlines set by the construction planning team made up of officials from all five parties, the city would turn over cleared 1-acre lot by Sept. 1 and Henderson County would start construction on Jan. 2, 2015. The five-party agreement cals for occupancy on Jan. 1, 2016.