There’s been a lot of discussion around town on the benefits and pitfalls of allowing Kettering Health Network to add overnight beds to their facility at the old Reyton Inn site at the I-75 Interchange.
Kettering (KHN) originally came to the city with a plan to build a $30 million outpatient medical facility that offered an Emergency Room and outpatient services. As the project progressed, KHN revisited the original plan and inquired about adding 8-20 beds for overnight stays in space that wasn’t otherwise designated. As it stands now, an outpatient stay is anything less than 23 hours. In order to accommodate that request, a zone change would have to be sought and approved by Planning Commission and subsequently, City Council.
The KHN application for a zoning change went to Planning Commission, and after a long public hearing, the Planning Commission recommended denial of KHN’s zoning request to allow the hospital beds for overnight stays. This had no impact on the original KHN plans for the facility.
After Planning Commission votes on a proposed zoning change, the matter comes to City Council to affirm or deny the recommendation of Planning Commission. Under City Ordinances, there must be a published notice of public hearing at least 30 days before the matter can come before City Council for consideration. The notice was published and the 30 day notice period meant that the matter would not come to City Council at the October 3rd meeting, but rather on Tuesday’s meeting on October 17th.
The delay was not staff driven, Planning Commission driven, or at the request of either KHN or Atrium Medical Center. It was simply a matter of Middletown law which requires that people know about the proposed change and have 30 days opportunity to express public opinion, both at the Public Hearing, and also to their City Council representatives.
The KHN zoning request was set to come to City Council today. Under Middletown Ordinances, if City Council wishes to reverse the recommendation of Planning Commission, it takes an affirmative vote of four of the five Council members to overturn Planning Commission’s recommendation. Four out of five City Council members would need to vote yes to allow the KHN zoning to be changed to permit hospital beds at the new facility. City staff recommended to City Council that the zoning be changed to allow the beds as requested by KHN.
On Monday, October 16, 2017, around noon, KHN submitted a letter to me formally withdrawing their application to rezone the two parcels in question, thereby abandoning their request to add hospital beds to the new facility. The KHN zoning requests have been removed from today’s City Council agenda and they are no longer under consideration by the City at the request of KHN.
Again, this does not change the original designs of the facility to offer Emergency Room services and outpatient services.
There have been discussions in the community that the city supported or didn’t support the KHN plan and that the matter was somehow subjectively being manipulated by City government to get a particular outcome. This one is by the books folks. Planning Commission made their recommendation. The city followed the law and standard procedure to publish notice and offer time for comment. KHN withdrew their request completely with no input from City staff. I do not know their business reasons for withdrawing their request.
There will be no public hearing on this item or a vote of council tonight. The request is withdrawn and done.
I hope this explains the process and timeline so people can understand what happened and why.