There they go again?
Reagan used it as a derogatory comment against Democrats; Bill Clinton used it sarcastically against the Republicans. Now we neighbors say, “there they go again” to our nemesis, the Sonoma Valley Hospital.
Nemesis is perhaps too strong a word since everyone is pleased to have SVH here. However, because of SVH’s ongoing and continuous greedy eye on what they now call (possessively it seems) “The South Lot,” it’s constantly the neighbors versus the hospital.
Their newest proposal is to commercialize the property bounded by Fourth Street West, Hayes and West MacArthur streets, with a Medical Rehab Center, a Parkpoint membership health club, an Olympic-sized swimming pool and a medical office building. They have already usurped a large portion of the property with an employees’ parking lot, over neighbors objections. Now they want to commercialize it even further on property that has long been zoned for residential use only. The noise, the serious parking problems and the everlasting traffic congestion would be unbearable for everyone on both sides of the question.
All this for projects that need not be there at all. For example: Kaiser Permanente (admittedly, one of the nation’s most successful HMOs ) has its major Rehab Center in Vallejo, which is not just across the street for those living in Sonoma, Napa, Marin and other locations throughout the area. Sonoma city and county have plenty of commercial properties for projects like this, and where such facilities belong.
As for the office building, there is currently a medical/dental complex on Perkins Street. At least half of those individual offices are owned by the physicians who occupy them.
These doctors are ready, actually eager, to sell. Replace this deteriorating complex with the new building. This area has already been used as a medical complex for years and it is conveniently right across the street from the hospital. Voila.
In conclusion, these facilities may or may not be necessary additions to SVH, but the hospital’s current proposal is badly flawed. It is unjustified, inappropriate for the area, and just plain wrong.
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Bill Schang is a neighbor to Sonoma Valley Hospital.