N E W S R E L E A S E
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2019
Saratoga County Planning Board Decision Could Boost Plan for Medical Offices Near Saratoga Hospital
Board approves proposed zoning map changes
BALLSTON SPA, NY, April 19, 2019—A positive decision by the Saratoga County Planning Board represents an important step forward for Saratoga Hospital’s plans to develop medical offices in close proximity to the hospital’s main campus.
At its monthly meeting last night, the board adopted a resolution of approval of the City of Saratoga Springs’ request for an advisory opinion on proposed changes to the zoning map. The change is intended to align the zoning map with the city’s comprehensive plan, which recommends a zone change that would allow for construction of medical offices on Morgan Street.
“Saratoga County is fortunate to have a planning board whose commitment is to the Saratoga region as a whole,” Saratoga Hospital President and CEO Angelo Calbone said. “One of the many reasons our county is among the fastest-growing in the state is that we can count on our planning board to consistently make decisions based on the long-term public good, especially regarding healthcare.”
For Saratoga Hospital’s plans to continue to advance, the updated zoning map must also be reviewed by the City of Saratoga Springs Planning Board and then approved by the City Council.
The Morgan Street property is the last parcel within walking distance of the hospital campus. With medical offices on that site, the hospital would bring Saratoga Hospital Medical Group physicians from offices throughout the city to a single location, where they could more effectively collaborate on patient care.
“Patient care has become increasingly multidisciplinary,” said Dr. Richard Falivena, chief medical and physician integration officer at Saratoga Hospital. “When a patient has cancer, for example, it’s not unusual for their care to involve a multidisciplinary team of specialists in oncology, surgery and interventional radiology. Depending on the type of cancer, the team could also include specialists in cardiology, endocrinology, pulmonology and more. The new medical office building would facilitate consultation and collaboration—and that can make a difference on care and outcomes.”
Equally important, in emergency situations, surgeons and other physicians could get to the hospital more quickly. In the most severe cases, response time can be critical.
“If even one life is saved because a physician can rush down the street to provide care, this building will have served its purpose,” Falivena said.
A multiyear process
The zoning map review is part of a multiyear process to align the map with the City of Saratoga Springs comprehensive plan, as required by state law. On June 16, 2015, the City Council unanimously approved the comprehensive plan, which included an “institutional” designation for the Morgan Street property.
- In August, the city hired a consultant, Camiros, Ltd., to make recommendations to bring the zoning into compliance with the comprehensive plan.
- On March 12, those recommendations were presented to the City Council. They included zoning changes to 18 parcels, including the Morgan Street property.
- On April 2, the City Council voted unanimously to seek required advisory opinions from the Saratoga County Planning Board and City of Saratoga Springs Planning Board.
- On April 18, the Saratoga County Planning Board advanced the project by voting to approve the city’s request.
- Dates for the City of Saratoga Springs Planning Board and City Council votes have not been set.
“We look forward to the city’s continued effort to bring its zoning into compliance with the comprehensive plan, to the resulting rezoning of the property on Morgan Street and, even more, to the opportunity to present a project that benefits the broader Saratoga community,” Calbone said. “We firmly believe that enhancing patient care is the best possible use of that property.
“For more than 100 years, Saratoga Hospital has had one overriding goal—to take care of our patients,” he added. “The medical office building would be the latest in a long line of investments in our community. We believe it is essential to the long-term health of Saratoga Hospital and those we are proud to serve.”
About 25 people attended the Saratoga County Planning Board meeting, including many friends of Saratoga Hospital. Matthew Jones, of Jones Stevens Attorneys at Law, represented the hospital. His presentation included decades-old photos of the hospital on Church Street, years before surrounding neighborhoods existed.
In fact, the hospital has been serving the region from the Church Street location since 1913.
About Saratoga Hospital: Saratoga Hospital is the Saratoga region’s leading healthcare provider and the only acute-care facility in Saratoga County. The hospital’s multispecialty practice, Saratoga Hospital Medical Group, provides care at more than 20 locations, ensuring easy access to programs and services that can have the greatest impact on individual and community health. Saratoga Hospital has maintained Magnet designation for nursing excellence since 2004. Through its affiliation with Columbia Memorial Health and Albany Med, Saratoga Hospital is part of the largest locally governed health system in region. For more information: www.saratogahospital.org or www.facebook.com/SaratogaHospital.
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