Planning Commission approves master plan for hospital

The Forest Grove Planning Commission unanimously approved Tuality Healthcare’s master plan for Tuality Forest Grove Hospital at its Monday, July 15 meeting.

The master plan calls for a new four-story hospital and a four-story parking garage, which would allow it to expand current services and double staff numbers.

Commission members forwarded the plan, as well as an accompanying zone change, to the Forest Grove City Council, along with minor recommendations from the commission.

“I like master plans,” said commission chairman Tom Beck. “That’s why I’m pushing for a robust plan ... making sure we have all the details right.”

The commission recommended that the landscape buffer planned for the south side of the facility extend around the new hospital zone’s entire boundary.

The buffer, which could consist of a fence or tall trees, was set to divide the hospital zone from the residential houses on 17th Avenue, but the commission would also like to see a buffer between the hospital and Marquis Care at Forest Grove.

Commissioners also recommended setbacks, requiring the large buildings to be a certain distance from the boundary line, as well as lighting that would be screened so as not to disturb nearby homeowners.

The commission also suggested new curbs, gutters, sidewalks, trees and traffic studies, partly because the plan includes a new entrance on 17th.

“We anticipate that the existing facility would eventually be inadequate to serve its community,” said Forest Grove Senior Planner James Reitz.

The zone change, also approved by the commission, would change the hospital’s zoning from residential to industrial.

“It makes for a full-service city,” commission member Lisa Nakajima said of the plan. “I support that.”

The plan’s timeline is still uncertain.

“Some of this is contingent,” said Richard “Dick” Stenson, president and CEO of Tuality Healthcare. “It’s hard to determine when the need is there.”

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