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Gainesville officials balk over clinic’s expansion

Public works, fire department oppose abandoning right of way

POSTED: August 9, 2014 1:08 a.m.

An area real estate firm is asking the city of Gainesville to abandon a portion of Broad Street between Prior and Spring streets so it can connect the properties it owns there, including The Longstreet Clinic building, and pave the way for potential future expansion.

But Gainesville officials will ask the planning and appeals board on Tuesday to postpone a hearing on the matter until further details become available.

Medical Arts Properties owns the buildings on either side of Broad Street, and joining the adjacent properties could help create a campus feel.

Mimi Collins, CEO of The Longstreet Clinic, said long-range planning could lead to increased parking, which is problematic in the complex, as well as the construction of additional buildings.

But, she cautioned, “We don’t have any plans right now.”

However, renovations are ongoing at the clinic.

The portion of Broad Street in question includes a raised pedestrian walkway, private access driveways, 16 on-street parking spaces and part of a public water line.

According to a memo from Community Development Director Rusty Ligon, the city’s public works and fire departments oppose abandoning the Broad Street right of way.

The departments cite concerns about maintaining existing sewer and water infrastructure in the area, as well as the need to keep the thruway open for emergency response teams.

“Fire response and service will be delayed as the Jesse Jewell side is presently compromised with traffic and a congested parking lot,” Ligon writes in the memo. “Based on the presence of existing utilities, the amount of vehicular trips per day and the concerns expressed by the Gainesville Fire Department and Public Works Department, the planning division staff is recommending to table this request until further detail can be provided by the applicant.”


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