Redesigned medical office building predicted
By TRAVIS PURSER
Express Staff Writer
The Blaine County Board of Commissioners has rescheduled a
suspended appeal by St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center of the county’s
denial of its plans to build a 38,000-square-foot medical office building
adjacent to its new hospital south of Ketchum.
But comments made by county Prosecuting Attorney Jim
Thomas and others during a commission hearing Monday suggest the hospital
might drop the appeal and instead submit a new application for a
redesigned, smaller building.
"I think you will see a different building. I think
you will see a different application, frankly," said Thomas, who in
the last several weeks has attended three mediation sessions with St. Luke’s,
the Blaine County Citizens for Smart Growth advocacy group and county
"If there is a new application," he said,
"then there is no appeal."
Thomas plans to attend a fourth, and he believes final,
mediation session April 12, after which the group may release a statement
describing any agreement reached.
St. Luke’s appeal, filed after the county planning and
zoning commission denied plans for the office building last summer, was
put on hold in March with the hope that mediation could resolve conflicts
among all involved over the proposed building’s size, location and
Because the mediation sessions were held in private, a
written statement by participants may be the only record the public sees
of what transpired among St. Luke’s, Smart Growth, which wants to block
the appeal, and elected officials.
The board of commissioners is scheduled April 23 to
publicly consider whatever the mediation group decides. A redesign by St.
Luke’s would require a new application followed by a new series of
public hearings before the P&Z.
The board is calling the 4 p.m. April 23 meeting an appeal
hearing to meet public notice requirements in case no mediation agreement
is reached and the appeal does indeed go forward.