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WellStar Updates East Cobb Health Park Plans

An update presented to the East Cobb Civic Association.

Here's our compilation of the Tweets from Wednesday's East Cobb Civic Association at which WellStar updated plans for the proposed $80 million East Cobb Health Park.  

The proposal is still in what a WellStar official termed the "programming" stage, with the design phase to begin this spring. 

More than 100 East Cobb citizens turned out at the East Cobb Government Center for the presentation, and a number of them were upset that more specifics about rezoning, traffic analysis and specifics of the design were not provided. The three-story facility, if approved, would be built at the intersection of Roswell Road and Providence Road on land that is currently zoned for residential use.

WellStar does not have to go through the rezoning process if it can win its appeal of a challenge to its application for a certificate of need and then receive final clearance from the Cobb Kennestone Hospital Authority. This is the main concern that residents have raised for several months.

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8:27 p.m. -- A citizen who wouldn't give his name just told me: Disappointed, says WellStar ducking whole issue of rezoning. "They don't need it."

8:25 p.m. -- It's all over from the East Cobb Government Center, and there's a bit of grousing about the lack of specifics about rezoning, traffic, design. 

8:22 p.m. -- End of Q and A. Joe B took a lot of heat that's probably not going to abate because critical issues haven't been addressed. Zoning in particular. 

8:19 p.m. -- By the way, the questions are being asked by moderator from index cards filled out by citizens. No direct verbal questions.

8:17 p.m.  -- Q. Why do this with all the medical offices in area? A. Trying to provide single-shop facility for many of these services. Many are single-speciality services. 

8:16 p.m. -- Q. Timeline for addressing zoning possibility? A. Premature to talk about this before design phase. Monitoring cert. of need appeal.

8:06 p.m. -- Q. What will the operating hours be, with school hours in mind? A. Could open as early as 7 a.m. and urgent care might stay open til 9-10 at night.

8:04 p.m. -- Q. When will you decide about whether to apply for rezoning? A. Not at liberty to discuss that or certificate of need.

8:03 p.m. -- Q. What traffic studies are you anticipating doing? A. Will have another sit-down with Ga. DOT likely within the next 90 days?

8:03 p.m. -- Q. What geriatric services are you anticipating? A. Chronic disease ed. programs, diabetes & asthma patients, fitness center.

7:57 p.m. -- Joe B won't comment on how recent WellStar senior management changes might affect EC Health Park project. Lots of guffaws at that one.

7:54 p.m. -- Q. How many cars per day will be going in and out of this facility? A. We really don't have that number yet. 

7:53 p.m. -- Q. How will street intersection improvements be funded? A. Surveys still out, yet to be seen.

7:52 p.m. -- Q. Do you have ability to upgrade urgent care into full emergency facility? A. We have no plans for an emergency department.

7:50 p.m. -- Q: Other facilities of this type in operation, if so where? Joe B: Nothing like this in state of Ga. Was involved in 2 in Ohio.

7:50 p.m. -- Now comes Q & A and the stirring about begins. This room is really packed.

7:47 p.m. -- Joe B: It's likely we wil be doing a traffic study with Georgia DOT.

7:46 p.m. -- Joe B: Will be working with Ga DOT on traffic lights, turn lanes, access points, etc. has done NO traffic study at all.

7:46 p.m. -- Joe B: Will be on-site security staffing. Also have met with officials at Walton HS, trying to sensitive to school proximity.

7:42 p.m. -- Joe B: Parking will be surface only, no parking garage, free parking for patients and visitors. 

7:41 p.m. -- Joe B on feedback: Big focus on green space, buffers and landscaping. We wanted a green field site, to buy a beautiful piece of property.

7:37 p.m. -- Programming includes diagnostic testing, outpatient surgery, urgent care, sleep center, women's center (inc. spa svcs). Big focus on women.

7:34 p.m. -- Joe B: These plans are brand-new, they're preliminary. Square footage not much bigger than nearby Home Depot on Roswell Road.

7:33 p.m. -- Joe B: Plans are a 3-story building, visible from Roswell Road. Square footage around 240,000. 1,000 parking spaces.

7:30 p.m. -- oe B: Programming phase almost complete, soon design phase will commence. Groundbreaking March 2012, open summer 2013.

7:25 p.m. -- Primary market area for this center are those living in zip codes 30062, 30066, 30067, 30068, 30075.

7:19 p.m. -- In surveying concept, 1,693 people were questioned, with 693 from Cobb, or 41 percent of those surveyed.

7:15 p.m. -- Joe B: "This is not a hospital. There will not be any beds on this campus. This will be an outpatient health service concept."

7:12 p.m. -- Commissioner Ott's town hall had to be moved from here last night b/c of overflow crowd. Must be more than 100 people now in a room for 83.

7:11 p.m. -- Joe B: "It's still very early in the project." Now he's giving us an overview of the WellStar system.

7:08 p.m. -- Joe Brywczynski, WellStar SR VP and health parks administrator, comes to the front. They call him "Joe B," which is good.

7:06 p.m. -- Chuckles as moderator calls for "civil discourse." This is not to be a debate but a presentation of information & for questions to be asked.

7:01 p.m. -- East Cobb commissioners Bob Ott and JoAnn Birrell are both here, and there aren't enough seats for late comers who are still filing in.


Catherine Raymond March 31, 2011 at 02:19 AM
I was disappointed by the comments that Joe B.made. I was under the impression that a Certificate of Need was needed before any plans could be made. Why can the Hospital Authority override county zoning laws? Joe B. was not very forthcoming on what the plans were. He stated that people from the area were involved with the committee but I believe only one person in the room stood up. Where is this phanthom committee? When asked about the changes in personnel at Wellstar he sid he couldn't comment. If this is the spoke person he is not willing to share how the recent firings of the top personnel would affect this project. Also a good number of people in this area are not involved with Wellstar so the addition of this facility would be of no use to them. He also stated that there would be no beds but if people have procedures what are they going to be on during recovery?

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