Neighbors concerned about medical center location
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Oct 11, 2013 | 5506 views | 8 8 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sutter Tracy Community Hospital CEO David Thompson talks to residents during a community meeting on Oct. 3 at the hospital to discuss the proposed relocation of the former Eaton Medical Center, 441 W. Eaton Ave.  Denise Ellen Rizzo/Tracy Press
Sutter Tracy Community Hospital CEO David Thompson talks to residents during a community meeting on Oct. 3 at the hospital to discuss the proposed relocation of the former Eaton Medical Center, 441 W. Eaton Ave. Denise Ellen Rizzo/Tracy Press
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Sutter Gould Medical Foundation officials presented plans during an Oct. 3 community meeting to relocate the former Eaton Medical Center, 441 W. Eaton Ave., to the adjacent tree-lined parking lot. Pictured is a copy of the proposed map.  Courtesy image
Sutter Gould Medical Foundation officials presented plans during an Oct. 3 community meeting to relocate the former Eaton Medical Center, 441 W. Eaton Ave., to the adjacent tree-lined parking lot. Pictured is a copy of the proposed map. Courtesy image
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Noise, traffic and a lack of privacy were the primary concerns voiced by residents near Eaton Medical Center at an Oct. 3 neighborhood meeting about plans to expand the center.

The subject of the meeting at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, 1420 N. Tracy Blvd., was a proposal to raze the medical center at 441 W. Eaton Ave. and build a larger, two-story replacement on the adjacent tree-lined parking lot.

The proposal by property owner Sutter Gould Medical Foundation met with objections from residents.

“You’re trying to fit a square peg into a round hole,” said Sarah Gordon, a resident of Wall Street who was among more than 25 people at the meeting.

“You’re trying to take this giant building and make it fit like it’s a puzzle piece,” she said. “A lot of people are here because they feel like perhaps it’s going to take the neighborhood out of the neighborhood.”

David Romano, real estate consultant from Modesto-based Newman-Romano, said Sutter Gould wants to build a 45,000-square-foot building to replace the 29,000-square-foot Eaton Medical Center, but those plans haven’t been formally submitted to the city. He said the foundation wanted to hear from nearby residents first.

“We looked at a lot of different options from the site plan, and this is the one that really stuck out from a planning perspective and from neighborhood preservation,” he said. “Having a building at this location was ideal.”

The center was purchased by the foundation in December.

Gordon didn’t like the idea of the two-story building overlooking her backyard. She also said the traffic and noise generated by a larger facility would be too much for the neighborhood.

Another woman urged the developers not to tear down the established trees in the existing parking lot, a sentiment shared by Pete Mitracos, a resident of the area and a member of the Tracy planning commission.

He called it “a beautiful parking lot.”

“You will lose all those trees — those are an asset that you have,” he said. “Appreciate what you have. Don’t bulldoze it and build something out at Grant Line or Gateway. It will impact the property values in a negative way.”

The proposed facility, at a cost of about $20 million, is designed to house 20 to 24 physicians in family practice, internal medicine and pediatrics.

Paul DeChant, the CEO of Sutter Gould Medical Foundation, said both floors would have a central physician-staff area surrounded by examination rooms. He said the design would “maximize the amount of time a physician spends with a patient.”

He said hours of operation for the urgent-care facility would be 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the weekends.

Resident Kyle Miller was unhappy about the possibility of employees and patients parking in his neighborhood.

“We live a block from here,” Miller said. “We already have issues with parking on Eaton because of the (Central) school. That’s a big concern.”

But David Thompson, the hospital CEO, said the project would include a new staff parking lot across Eaton Avenue from the medical center.

He said Sutter Gould plans to tear down two abandoned, dilapidated houses between Wall Street and Bessie Avenue.

“I want to make it clear, we didn’t come in and buy a residential piece of property and say, We want to come in here and put in a medical facility,” Thompson said. “This is zoned medical office. It has been zoned for awhile.”

Thompson said that Sutter Gould plans to continue to “be a good neighbor” to the area and that construction dates have not been finalized.

He said the next step was to submit a final plan to the city, but he did not say when that would be done.

•Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.

 
Comments
(8)
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seedym
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October 18, 2013
If someone moves to an area near an airport should we sympathize for their discomfort because of the extra noise accompanying airport expansion? If someone moves next to a hospital should we......

me-here
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October 14, 2013
I live in that block and would welcome the doctors' offices in that building. They have ample area for the new building and parking. We already have our curbs filled with cars, so that's not new.

No gripe from me. I willlove being able to walk to my doctor.
newtotracy
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October 11, 2013
bummer...a friend was looking at buying and rehabbing one of those homes...which is not dilapidated so much as neglected. Great bones, cute home...if brought back could last another 80 years like it already has.

I thought we were getting a massive medical complex at the "gateway" to deal with all of this crap...instead of clogging streets with traffic and parking and ruining neighborhoods by making them commercial.

make up your mind city council...before we make up ours come next election.
ArchiePlace
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October 11, 2013
new,

You must be one of those liberals who believe in big government telling businesses what to do. Or you have fell prey to that way of thinking.

Fortunately government does not work that way. For example, in this case the hospital made the decision during the economic crunch. That is contrary to what you implied. It is called a market driven economy, where a hospital board decided to build a smaller expansion in tough times.

I understand your disdain for traffic issues and I do not care who you vote for, as long as you vote. But please don't vote untill you educate yourself on how things work.
victor_jm
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October 11, 2013
ArchiePlace,

You may have fallen prey to distorted thinking.

How do things work?

I'm not sure you get it.
ArchiePlace
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October 11, 2013
vic,

I'm really glad you asked. Short answer is I don't, but I do pay attention to business. I also support an ideal, market driven economy and believe that as a business entity, Sutter Gould has every right to build on their own terms. And I will support their right to try. It actually could work, but I honestly think it would end up costing them more to do it right in that small of a neighborhood.

Having said that, I also appreciate that they invited their neighbors but I still hope they would consider somewhere else on Lammers because it would serve both Tracy and Mountain House. However given the current economy I understand what they are trying to do.

If I were Sutter Gould, I would still consider a smaller development with room to grow, somewhere on the western edge near the Shulte power plant and near the grid where they would be guaranteed uninterrupted electrical power. Maybe even put up a windmill like the Safeway guys did.

Or they can just scale back and build a parking garage with solar panels forty feet above your house. After all, if people are invited, by Sutter Gould, to the meeting and don't show up and say NO, they have nobody to blame but themselves.
landingapproach
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October 12, 2013
Why doesn't the business open up a business in a business park.... not in a residential neighborhood. What Greed. Screw the neighborhood, just as long as the business gets what they want seems to be their thinking. How sad.
CJSG
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October 11, 2013
It's like an episode of Parks and Recreation


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