MARIETTA - City council on Thursday adopted legislation creating new "H/M", or hospital/medical, zoning within the city limits.
The zoning designation, requested by the Marietta Memorial Health System, will allow the system to make improvements at its Memorial, Selby and Wayne Street campuses without having to go through a lengthy approval process with city council.
Councilman Roger Kalter, D-1st Ward, and chairman of council's planning, zoning, annexation and housing committee, said the zoning request has taken more than a year to complete.
"We've also held five different public hearings-the final one tonight-on this request," he said. "This legislation simply sets up a new hospital/medical zone, similar to the institutional/office (I/O) zone established for Marietta College and Washington State Community College."
The I/O zoning allows those institutions to make minor improvements to their properties without first seeking council approval, which can delay a project for several weeks.
"But this legislation just sets up the new zone," Kalter said. "The health system will still have to bring all of their properties into the zone," which will require additional council legislation.
The health system will have to go through the city planning commission for major projects on its properties.
In other business, council approved $389,560 for a major upgrade to the city's software system by New World Systems of Troy, Mich.
A committee made up of city utilities department director Kim Nohe, auditor Sherri Hess, assistant safety-service director Bill Dauber, and Scott Steinel and Amy Tucker with the IT department worked for 14 months on selecting a provider for the upgraded software, recommending New World Systems out of 12 original vendors.