Warsaw Board of Zoning Appeals Monday approved a use variance to allow medical offices and a hospital in Warsaw at the new YMCA site.
The board approved the request from Parkview Health System Inc. to allow medical offices and a hospital in a commercially zoned district at 1355 Mariner Drive, on the Parkview Warsaw YMCA campus.
Board member Ron Shoemaker made a motion to approve the use variance, seconded by board member Tammy Dalton. Board President Tom Allen and board member Jack Wilhite also voted in favor of the variance; member Rick Keeven was absent.
Plans are, if approved, that medical offices and a hospital would be completed and open in October 2015. The development plan will next be reviewed by the Warsaw Plan Commission.
Currently hospitals are permitted in the medical district with no conditions and in residentially zoned districts provided the use is located on sites having a minimum of five acres in area.
The proposal that requires Warsaw Plan Commission approval would have the property subdivided, with a new street accessing the facility on the northeast side of the YMCA. The name of the new facility would be Parkview-Warsaw Hospital.
Peter Mallers, attorney  for Beers, Mallers Backs & Salin, representing Parkview Health, spoke on behalf of the variance.
Mallers said the plan is  to use 10 acres of property north of the new YMCA on Mariner Drive for the medical offices and hospital.
He said an application will be filed this week with the building and planning department for a development plan that will be reviewed during Warsaw Plan Commission’s July 14 meeting. Warsaw City Council also will need to approve the plan.
Last year, Parkview entered into an agreement with Kosciusko YMCA where Parkview agreed to contribute significant resources to the Y in exchange for naming rights, space within the Y for healthcare, education and wellness programs and for land for medical offices and a hospital.
The facility will be built in two phases.
Phase one will include a primary care office of about 7,700 square feet and a 2,700-square-foot rehabilitation area with 1,900 square feet for laboratory space, and 8,400 square feet for imaging and diagnostic services. There also will be 17,400 square feet of unfinished basement space and 5,800 square feet for emergency services.
Phase two will be designated for one additional floor for primary care and two additional floors for ambulatory surgery and other services.
There will be a helicopter and helicopter pad with an ER and 24-hour care services. There will be parking spaces, and a landscape buffer and free-standing sign along U.S. 30. The building will be built of brick and metal paneling.
“We believe the proposal will serve the healthcare needs of the community including providing emergency services,” Mallers said.
Mallers said Parkview officials met with adjacent property owners Wednesday to discuss the plan for the medical facility and hospital and the largest concern expressed was buffering.
During Monday night’s meeting, Pat Coy, who lives near the proposed facility, had concern with buffering.
Mallers said there will be a 3- to 6-foot mound buffer and 6-foot fence with landscaping and 5- to 7-foot tall evergreen trees. The fence will provide a sound barrier and security.
In other business, the board approved a variance from development standards to allow a larger accessory structure, a shed, in a front yard at 2000 North Bay Drive.
Petitioner Sterling Watkins requested the variance to replace an existing accessory building with a new, larger structure. The shed is currently 10 by 12 feet and will be 12 by 16 feet.
The current building is under the size required to get a permit for construction. It is a legal non-conforming condition because of the amount of time it has existed.
The board also approved a use variance to allow Richard Shock, Shock Farms, to grow corn in a residentially zoned area with vacant lots at the east end of Mariners Drive.
Menards originally platted the area for residential development. The development has not happened as quickly as planned, and the land has been leased to a farmer to make use of  while it sits undeveloped.