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Local News

New Lenox considers rezoning for new Silver Cross Hospital surgery center

NEW LENOX – Silver Cross Hospital has started its process to build a new ambulatory surgery center across from the hospital with a rezoning request presented this week to the New Lenox Village Board and an application filed with the state.

An ordinance to rezone 58 acres of farmland on the west side of Silver Cross Boulevard just south of Route 6 for hospital use was presented for consideration to village trustees Monday night.

The hospital also needs to get approval from the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board as well as final site plan approvals from the village before it can move forward with construction.

It filed an application in May with the state board and a hearing is set for Aug. 2, according to hospital Senior Vice President for Business Development Ruth Colby.

Construction would start soon after approval is received and would take about 10 months to be completed, she said.

The hospital plans to build a 13,800-square-foot outpatient surgery center on 4 acres. The center would have three operating rooms and is estimated to cost about $11 million, Colby said.

"We need more operating rooms in order to meet the demands of the community," she said.

A hospital district allows for a medical office and some commercial use as well, according to Assistant Village Administrator Robin Ellis.

However, Colby said the hospital is currently only planning for the surgery center.

The hospital would be the owner of the new facility, but upon receiving approval from the state it will look to open up ownership opportunities to its physicians, according to Colby.

A few residents who live across from the hospital and adjacent to the property in question raised concerns at the meeting Monday about water drainage and the intended height for the new facility.

Zoning parameters allow for a medical building as tall as 135 feet, or about 9 stories, while other buildings are limited to a height of 85 feet, according to Ellis. The hospital is six stories high.

One resident suggested that the village impose a one-story restriction for the structure. Mayor Tim Baldermann and Trustee David Smith said that as long as the developer follows the village's zoning codes the village could not enforce any extra restrictions.

However, Colby said the facility will only be one story high.

The rezoning ordinance will likely come up for approval at the next board meeting.

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