Planning Commission

Lincoln Medical Plaza SUP pursuit re-emerges in Paradise Valley

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Owners of Lincoln Medical Plaza have returned to Paradise Valley Town Council seeking a new minor special use permit, after pulling prior plans pursued last year.

On Nov. 19, the Paradise Valley Planning Commission discussed the request for a minor special use permit amendment at the medical center, 7125 E. Lincoln Drive, seeking clarification of minimum parking requirements and the construction of a 315-square-foot, enclosed yard to house bulk liquid oxygen.

The liquid oxygen is to be used for a hyperbaric oxygen chamber on the first floor of the two-story facility.

Lincoln Medical Plaza is owned by Jamel Greenway LLC, town documents show.

A major special use permit amendment was sought in 2018 to demolish the structure and rebuild a new two-story building, but the applicants withdrew their request in 2019.

Now, the owner is remodeling the interior and exterior of the building under existing SUP regulations, with no change to building square feet, height or circulation. In addition to minor changes to the parking lot, including adding an ADA-compliant parking spot, the SUP request seeks an exterior tank enclosure.

The outdoor location is for a 4,500-gallon liquid oxygen tank, which is required to be separated from the building, Senior Planner Paul Michaud said during the Commission’s study session meeting. The 315-square-foot enclosure is comprised of a 10-foot-tall block wall with a gate. It would also include a vaporizer to convert the liquid to gas.

“This is part of the wellness center --- that is an allowed use within the special use permit,” Mr. Michaud explained to Commission of the oxygen tank.

“It offers an array of services. The hyperbaric oxygen therapy is one of those services that it does. That tenant will be the whole first floor of the rear building.”

Both the town’s fire marshal and police chief stated safety requirements have been met.

Planning Commissioners discussed the make-up of the brick enclosure, confirming the safety standards around the plans.

“I see the visual piece; I was more thinking about the safety side,” Commissioner Daran Wastchak said. “For staff, all I can do is assume you guys have checked it; Bob [Lee] knows what the requirements are.”

Community Development Director Jeremy Knapp noted plans include the wall to be grouted with No. 5 rebar.

Commissioner Pamela Georgelos also confirmed to have the fire marshal, Bob Lee, to take a look at plans.

The minor SUP is planned for a public hearing on Dec. 17, where the Commission will be asked to find that the request is a minor amendment and then approve or deny the application.

The four criteria for an SUP to be deemed a minor amendment are:

  • No change or added uses;
  • Can’t increase floor area by more than 15% or 5,000 square feet;
  • No material affect that can’t be sufficiently mitigated; and
  • Change in architectural changes.

Mr. Michaud says this request doesn’t change any uses, it is still a medical use; the floor area is not increased by more than 15%; the tank enclosure is in the rear yard with minimal visibility; and the architectural style remains.

The request includes seven stipulations, one of which requires the hyperbaric treatment center meet all required safety standards.

Commission Chair Jonathan Wainwright asked his colleagues if anyone opposed the project being a minor SUP --- there was little to no response from the Commissioners.

“I think it will be an improvement. I think we’re all probably a little disappointed the other one didn’t work out,” Mr. Wainwright said. “Hopefully they’re going to end up with good quality, long-term tenants and move forward with a successful enterprise there.”

Commissioner James Anton noted a new coat of paint and exterior improvements have already improved the look of the building.

“The building looks better already,” Mr. Anton says. “They’re a long ways from where they’re going to be. They took 30 years off that building, just painting it, stuccoing it. It will be a major improvement and we’ll all be happy when it’s done.”

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