Hospitals aren’t just hospitals anymore. They’re medical campuses, job centers, hang-outs, and not just for the sick, the healing or their healers. That, anyway, is Florida Hospital Flagler’s long-range plan for its 100-acre spread at the edge of Palm Coast’s Town Center.
- Aerial View of the Hospital’s Property Line
- See the Master Plan Agreement with Palm Coast (With Drawings)
- Planning Department’s Zoning Application Report
On Wednesday, the Palm Coast planning board approved a development master plan that would enable the hospital to double in size over many years, eventually adding a 120-foot tower and other buildings to accommodate 100 more beds and medical offices. The plan also currently conceives of a hotel and a restaurant on the hospital campus. But Hospital CEO David Ottati said those “may never occur.” The hospital is more likely to build medically related facilities there, he said.
The master plan projects development over a 20-year range. The most immediate changes you’re likely to see are a 200-space parking lot, a sizeable retention pond to the north of the campus, near I-95, and trails for public use that’ll be connected to 8-foot-wide sidewalks along State Road 100. The first major structural change to the hospital itself would be the addition of a 30,000 square-foot building to expand medical offices. The hospital is also stepping up its recruitment of physicians.
The hospital’s 310,000 square feet of existing medical space stretch over 30 acres of the hospital property. Future development would take in an additional 40 acres, eventually adding 179,000 square feet of hospital and medical-office space on tracts immediately abutting SR100 and a tract northeast of the existing structure. Drawings include plans for a 16,000 square-foot restaurant and 75,000 square foot hotel, also along SR100, but more as placeholders.
On Wednesday, the hospital requested essentially three changes from city regulations.
First, the hospital is looking to exceed the 100-foot height limitation for its future tower by 20 feet. The planning board granted the waiver. The hospital is also long to change the density on the site. At the moment, 40 percent of any given tract’s area may be built up. The hospital wants to change that to 50 percent on four separate tracts, and to 75 percent on the tract that includes its principal structure. The planning board granted those requests, too.
The hospital was also asking for an electronic sign at the entrance to the complex on SR100, what would be a nearly 18-foot sign. The city recommended against granting that request: the city bans almost all electronic signage (except for schools). The planning board denied that request. The planning board’s recommendations next go to the Palm Coast City Council, which could adopt or reverse any of them.
Two large tracts adding up to a little over 20 percent of the campus—a long sliver running to the north and west of the property, and a larger tract to its east, all the way up to the interstate—would remain conservation land. Any future development would maintain 35-foot buffers along 100 and 25-foot buffers along I-95.
The hospital opened in 2002 as a successor to the Bunnell Community Hospital, which Florida Hospital acquired in 2000. The hospital is licensed for 99 beds. To add beds, it must get the approval of the Agency for Health Care Administration, a state regulatory agency.