Planning Commission considers changes for health faciliites

The New Prague Planning Commission continued its discussion about addressing assisted living facilities in the central business district and clinics and healthcare facilities with in-patient care in the B-1 and B-2 commercial districts and residential districts. The concern about the clinics and facilities are that they could possibly offer addiction treatment through medication or drugs.

The commission has until October of 2018 to address the matter due to an emergency ordinance approved by the New Prague City Council on October 16, 2017. It was noted there were some inquiries in October about such facilities.

The commission had discussed the matter at its November meeting. One item that was discussed was to keep the first floor of buildings in the downtown district as businesses. If the second floor of a building was assisted living it should have off-street parking, so as to not affect on-street parking. Also discussed was the possibility of removing clinics and healthcare facilities from residential zoning districts. It was pointed out that the city’s hospital, Mayo Clinic Health System in New Prague, was in a residential district. The commission suggested developing a performance standard for assisted living facilities and clinics.

City Planning Director Ken Ondich said in the last month a party asked city staff about the possibility of having assisted living units on the main floor of the Broz Hotel, with 50 percent of the main floor still being for commercial use. He noted they wanted a reaction from the commission about the idea.

Commissioner Bob Gilman speculated if living units were put on the second floor an elevator may be needed to make the building ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.

Chair Jay Nuhring said he wasn’t in favor of the proposal of having 50 percent of the main floor at Broz Hotel being living units. He noted that in 2020, when Main Street is being reconstructed, any businesses in the building may need entrance from the back of the building. He wondered how that would be addressed.

Ondich explained he had come up with performance standards in the last month, but they would have to be...

To see more on this story pick up the December 28, 2017 print edition of The New Prague Times. 

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