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The Lakeland Times | Minocqua, Wisc.

Jim Tait 02/01-02/28/17

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November 19, 2017

11/14/2017 7:26:00 AM
Marshfield Clinic appeal to be rescheduled

The Oneida County Board of Adjustment has postponed a public hearing scheduled for next Wednesday, Nov. 15, regarding Marshfield's Clinic's appeal of the zoning committee's denial of it conditional use permit (CUP) application.

Marshfield is seeking the permit to build a 12-bed, $30-million hospital at its current location.

The zoning committee had denied the application on a 3-2 vote. The committee's denial turned on one standard for granting a CUP - that the project "not be detrimental to or endanger the public health, safety, morals, comfort or general welfare."

Supervisors Billy Fried and Dave Hintz supported the application, with Hintz saying it was impossible for the applicant to prove the hospital would not have a negative impact on the community, and, while it was impossible to predict what might happen, he thought it would have a positive impact.

Fried questioned whether the committee was moving beyond the scope of the general welfare standard and broadly invading issues beyond land use.

But Scott Holewinski, Jack Sorensen, and Mike Timmons opposed the application. Sorensen cited the lack of a need for the facility, the duplication of services, and the likelihood that the community could not support two hospitals.

Timmons seconded Sorensen's fear that both hospitals could not survive.

While it's not clear what the board of adjustment (BOA) will do, the BOA did reject Marshfield's 2015 appeal of a zoning committee denial for a CUP for a skilled nursing facility. It was a sweeping 5-0 decision.

Marshfield has said it will build in the area regardless of the appeal.

In a statement on July 11, Dr. Bill Melms, regional medical director for the clinic, said Marshfield wants to locate the hospital in Minocqua but was keeping its options open should the clinic not prevail on appeal.

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