Ministry withdraws objections to Clinic permit at last minute
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — Monday night’s City Plan Commission meeting was set to be the scene of the latest faceoff between Marshfield Clinic and Ministry Health Care, that is until Ministry withdrew its protest regarding the issuance of a conditional use permit to Marshfield Clinic just before the meeting was set to start.
Specifically, Ministry was prepared to contest a conditional use permit request from Marshfield Clinic related to expansion of its East Wing, which would accommodate a 4,500-square-foot expansion to provide radiation oncology treatments.
In a letter to the city of Marshfield, Ministry initially asked plan commission members to consider a number of factors that the zoning administrator must deliberate on in accordance with city code before issuing a conditional use permit. Ministry’s letter highlighted the following two portions of the Marshfield municipal code in particular, which state that the zoning administrator must consider if granting a conditional use permit:
“Will result in a substantial or undue adverse impact on nearby property, the character of the neighborhood, environmental factors, traffic factors, parking, public improvements, public property or rights-of-way, or other matters affecting the public health, safety, or general welfare either as they now exist or as they may in the future.”
“The potential public benefits outweigh any and all potential adverse impacts of the proposed conditional use after taking into consideration the applicant’s proposal and any requirements recommended by the applicant to ameliorate such impacts.”
Ministry argued in its initial objection letter that the addition of a radiation/oncology treatment area in Marshfield Clinic’s East Wing would be “duplicative” and “unnecessary” and runs contrary to the stated purpose and intent of the city’s general zoning ordinance code, which is to protect the “health, safety, morals, comfort, convenience, and general welfare of the public.”
“The planning commission decision to approve or deny the conditional use permit application has broad implications for the immediate and surrounding communities served by the hospital,” the letter said.
Ministry withdrew its objections less than two hours before Monday’s City Plan Commission meeting, which starts at 5:30 p.m. Hub City Times reached out to Ministry Health Care for comment on this story but did not immediately receive a response.