By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — Ministry Health Care has filed a lawsuit asking that a ruling made by Marshfield’s Zoning Board of Appeals at its Sept. 8 meeting be reversed and two building permits issued to Marshfield Clinic be rescinded.
In that meeting the Zoning Board of Appeals ruled that the Marshfield Clinic did not need to receive conditional use permits for remodeling being done in its East Wing and only needed its previously issued building permits, which Ministry believes should not have been issued. Ministry contested that ruling at the time.
Ministry believes Marshfield Clinic should have had to receive conditional use permits for the East Wing remodeling because under Marshfield city ordinance 18-166 (3), “In the absence of an approved CMP (campus master plan), or within an expired CMP, any development within the Campus Development zoning district shall be regulated as a conditional use.”
Marshfield Clinic does not have an approved campus master plan currently and is not required to. The clinic is constructing comfort and recovery suites and could also place hospital beds in its East Wing.
City Administrator Steve Barg has said that the city’s position is that because Marshfield Clinic is not changing its use from a zoning perspective, meaning despite the remodeling the East Wing is still being used for medical-related purposes, that a conditional use permit is not necessary.
The Zoning Board of Appeals ruled in favor of Marshfield Clinic during the Sept. 8 meeting because it felt from a zoning perspective, though the East Wing was being remodeled, it was still being utilized for a medical purpose and because all of the remodeling was interior and did not increase the footprint of the East Wing.
When Ministry initially challenged the issuance of permits, Marshfield Clinic Health System COO Dan Ramsey said, “There’s really nothing about any of the projects that we’re talking about that is inconsistent with the zoning and the land use. What it appears is Ministry is pointing to a possible technicality and raising it as a way to simply slow things down.”
Ministry Health Care issued the following statement to Hub City Times today:
“We did not agree with the decision of the Marshfield Zoning Board of Appeals and continue to maintain our position that a conditional use permit (CUP) is necessary before the planned construction project at the Marshfield Clinic campus can proceed. We want to ensure this project is reviewed and held to the same set of standards used to evaluate numerous other projects completed at the hospital/Marshfield campus as well as across the community. Since the matter is now in the hands of the court, it would be inappropriate to comment further other than to state that we are going to let the court process decide whether a conditional use permit should have been required.”
Hub City Times has reached out to Marshfield Clinic for comment on this story but has not received a response.