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May 25, 2010Covington Planning CommissionCity of Covington16720 SE 271
StreetSuite 100Covington, WA 98042RE: Proposed Land Use Code ChangesThank you for the opportunity to submit this letter. CollinsWoerman is the architecture firmrecently engaged by MultiCare for the purposes of helping them expand the services offeredon their Covington campus. To that end, we have reviewed your proposed new land use codeand offer the following observations, comments and suggestions.
The MultiCare Covington campus was purchased and developed by the institution for thepurpose of serving the community with a range of Healthcare services. For nearly twentyyears, they have operated this campus for that purpose and they are now executing a 100 yearbuilding expansion of the site, expanding the scope of services available to the communitydramatically.Under current zoning, the existing and proposed uses would be permitted outright. Under thenew zoning these uses are conditional. This seems an unintended consequence of the newcode.In many jurisdictions, Healthcare institutions have a designated zone or overlay. Seattle andBellevue come immediately to mind. We strongly encourage you to review the applicability ofapplying generalized zone use criteria to sites such as MultiCare’s which have a historicalspecific use and provide great benefit to the community.
Height Limits in the MC zone
Under the current zoning ordinance the height limit for the MultiCare property is four stories or60’. Under the proposed zoning the new height limit is proposed to be 55’. The existingbuilding on the Covington campus is four stories. We believe the proposed new code heightlimit will hurt the potential to develop a hospital facility on the site. We would expect the heightof a new building will be four stories; two Diagnostic and Treatment floors and two PatientBedroom floors. Our experience suggests that D and T floors will have a floor to floor height of16’ to 18’. Patient room floors are generally at least 14’ high. Using the most conservativenumbers, a four story hospital facility on the site would be 60’ high to top of roof.