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Town approves Baptist building

The Farragut Municipal Planning Commission unanimously approved site plans for a new medical office building to be built on the site of the existing Baptist Hospital West at its monthly meeting Thursday, July 17, at Town Hall.

Ruth Viergutz Hawk, the Town’s community development director, issued a list of 11 items that needed to be addressed by the building’s architectural firm, George Armour Ewart, prior to approval.

One of the issues was parking.

In order to comply with TOF parking regulations Mercy Health Partners and Ewart opted to remove the heliport currently located on the site.

Commissioner Edward St. Clair asked where the heliport would be relocated.

“Ewart said, “The heliport is going away. We do not need it for this size of hospital. This is not actually a trauma hospital. Anything that would need trauma will not go to this hospital unless it is an all-out case emergency and if that is the case they will be landing in a parking lot.”

The 80,000 square-foot building will be a freestanding facility, connected to the hospital only by sidewalks.

“The building they will be constructing is right across from the women’s hospital. It will be lining up with the crosswalks,” Hawk said.

“The brick and the windows will match the existing building so that there will be some architectural compatibility,” she added.

Signange for the building is yet to be approved.

“We do not allow sign information to be shown on the site plan because we do not want to imply that that is an approval of the sign because that actually has to go through the Visual Resources Board. So they will be going through the V-R-B,” Hawk said.

Ewart said the structure would be three levels, with the lower level being an 18-bed ambulatory surgery center.

“The rest will be medical office space,” he added.

When asked who the building’s tenants would be, Ewart said, “I do not know if I am able to comment on that yet. A lot of them are in negotiations but we have a lot of strong leads right now.”

In a letter to Stuart Anderson, of George Armour Ewart, Hawk said, “It looks like there could be some long-term conflicts between some of the light poles and trees adjacent to the poles. Please re-visit with the landscape architect.”

TOF’s landscaping requirements permit up to 20 percent of the total number of required shade trees to be understory trees.

“You may want to consider using such smaller trees where the greatest potential with light poles could exist,” Hawk said.

“Another option would be to place the parking lot lights outside the landscape islands,” she added.

She also reiterated that minimum island-width is measured from the back of the curb to the back of curb, not the face of the curb.

“Some islands do not meet the minimum width as a result,” she added.

Ewart agreed to all of the subject-to items on the list.

He said the construction is anticipated to be completed by September 2009.


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