Planning Commission OKs revamp of Alta View Hospital campus

Sandy • Alta View Hospital won the go-ahead to redevelop its campus to modernize despite vocal opposition from residents.

The Sandy City Planning Commission unanimously approved the hospital's designs, which will be wider and taller than the current hospital to meet modern standards. The campus will have two buildings, each with its own tower. One building will house administrative offices, and the other will be designated for medical care.

Under Sandy ordinance, the hospital can have one building that reaches 100 feet. The plan envisions one at 98 feet and the other 78 feet.

The planning commission's recommendation now goes to the city council for approval.

Bryan Johnson, hospital administrator, explained that the current facility is 30 years old and cannot fulfill the community's needs. The new design would not increase the hospital's capacity. Instead, it would reassign beds and focus more on out-patient care. It would also include new physician services and larger rooms that would allow families to be involved in patients' care.

Many community members expressed their disapproval of the new design. Residents who live across the street from the hospital on Indian Ridge Drive said the new, taller campus would block the view for which they had bought their property. The new campus would depreciate their homes' value and interfere with their quality of life, they said. Some suggested the campus build out instead of up, and others argued a new "mega-campus" is not necessary at all since there is another one 10 minutes away.

Planning Commission Chairman Scott Sabey noted there is no property right to a view in Utah.

Community members also expressed frustration because they had not learned of the project until recently. The hospital should have sought out locals' input, they said.

"If they are part of the community, they should work with the community," complained one community member.

Sabey said a notice was sent out seven days in advance of the meeting, which meets state standards.

The commission unanimously found the plan is consistent with use and zoning requirements, that the changes are incremental and the revamped hospital would be an asset to the community.