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ECH seeks parking use for newly acquired property

Elizabethtown Community Hospital purchased a parcel across from the hospital grounds, which will be developed further at a later date.

Elizabethtown Community Hospital purchased a parcel across from the hospital grounds, which will be developed further at a later date. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Elizabethtown officials and administration for the Elizabethtown Community Hospital will attempt to solve a parking issue at the Sept. 20 meeting of the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals.

The hospital recently purchased a parcel located across the street from the facility and Horace Nye Nursing Home, which was previously had several uses, including as a car wash.

According to Jane Hooper, the hospital cleaned up, graded and used crushed stone to create a level parking area for its staff on this piece of property.

“Once complete, the hospital was approached by Code Officer John Hudson at the request of Zoning Board of Appeals Chair Ron Testa,” Hooper said. “He indicated that we needed approval from the town Planning Board to use this property for temporary parking. The Planning Board informed ECH that it actually needed to obtain approval from the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals, led by Testa, so we completed an application and submitted it to the ZBA.”

Town Supervisor Margaret Bartley said that ZBA members have been talking about the application since July, making sure that they made the proper decision in accordance to land-use laws.

“We have a land-use law and in it there is a process that you need to go through,” Bartley said. “Our law follows New York state law, and it is like all permitting processes.”

At the Aug. 16 meeting of the ZBA, ECH attorney Matt Murnane said that the hospital would withdraw its use variance request application in order to refile the request and provide more detailed information, which would be prepared for a hearing at the Sept. 22 meeting.

Hooper said that while the future use of the purchased property had not been determined, they did have an idea to help patients and visitors while providing additional parking areas for staff.

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