Future Mountain Village Could Include Med Center
by Karen James
Mar 15, 2010 | 2264 views | 6 6 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
New Facility Penciled in During Comprehensive Planning

MOUNTAIN VILLAGE – Even as the Telluride Hospital District Board of Directors contemplates whether to re-approach the Telluride electorate this fall, with the first step in a revised strategy to secure land in that town for a future, expanded medical center, Mountain Village is signaling that it may be receptive to locating a new facility there.

As it undergoes its 15-year comprehensive planning process, the Town of Mountain Village is reviewing its remaining developable parcels and determining a range of suitable uses for each – and a new medical center is a real possibility for a few.

“We actually have sub-area plans that are evolving that show [a medical center] as a use,” confirmed Community Development Director Chris Hawkins, who indicated that suitable locations are found in both the Village Core and Town Hall areas of Mountain Village.

“We have to look at all available sites,” said THD Board President Bill Grun.

“We’re happy to have a community that’s thinking about the need for a new med center and where you would put it,” he said.

In the fall of 2008 the THD Board failed to convince the Telluride electorate to pass both of two ballot questions that would have allowed it to build a new facility on two town-owned lots known together as the “RV Lot.”

Located directly west of Mahoney Drive, the RV Lot is formed by Lot 48A, and about one-half acre of the South Pearl Property. Both lots are largely paved.

While building is permitted on Lot 48 A, which is located within the Accommodations Two Zone District, the South Pearl Property portion of the RV Lot, which is in the Public Purpose Zone District that provides for limited public facilities and limited commercial uses on review, it is governed by a 1998 ordinance that prohibits development of any kind on the Pearl Property for wetlands protection.

During the 2008 election, the THD’s Question 200, which passed by three votes, gave the Town of Telluride the right to sell the RV Lot to the hospital district.

But to proceed with plans for a new facility there, the THD also needed the community to authorize Question 201, which would have amended the 1998 ordinance; that question failed by six votes.

At that time the voters also denied a third question, of whether or not to approve a $15 million bond to help pay for a new facility.

Unlike the three questions posed to voters in the 2008 election, this time around the THD board is evaluating whether ask the Telluride electorate only to reconsider the ordinance that prohibits development on part of the RV Lot.

“They have given pause to that thought because of the receptive response by the Town of Mountain Village toward locating the Med Center there,” said Hospital Administrator Gordon Reichard.

“We are located currently in Telluride, we’re happy here, and we’re not looking at moving,” he said.

“But the reality is that eventually our lease will be up here and we have to secure land, otherwise there will not be a medical center in Telluride/Mountain Village.”

The Telluride Medical Center is currently located in a building leased to it by the Idarado Mining Co. Its lease expires in 2032.

The conversation is very much in its infancy and should not be perceived as an attempt by Mountain Village to “woo’ the Telluride Medical Center away from Telluride, said Mayor Bob Delves, who indicated that Telluride remains to him the “logical location” for a future medical center because of its role as the region’s commercial center, its grid layout (versus the long cul-de-sac that is Mountain Village) and its larger fulltime population.

“There has been no discussion between the Med Center board [of directors] or [town] council, but if that board were to approach council about locating the Med Center here I think we would give it a full and open and honest hearing,” he said.

But given the proximity of Mountain Village to the ski area and its own growing fulltime population, there’s a persuasive argument for moving the medical center there, he added.

“I think there could be a lot of upside to having that kind of business in Mountain Village,” he said.

“We would want to give it a thorough review.
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Lets See
March 17, 2010
Medical Center in the Village Market...move Village Market to the Village...right...lets have two grocery stores in the village. Pass. Ambulances would need to go further into the core of the town to reach the med center. Pass.

The Med Center is going to need to spend money to build something. That is there "eventual" plan. CAVE doesn't want it on the Pearl Property. Maybe the Town of Mountain Village will give them a deal on the land, if not free, or some tax benee's. It could work.

Bye Bye Telluride.

("Dude, I can't believe I have to go to the Village to see the Doctor...Dude, I can't believe we chased the med center out of town")
FaceOnMars (nli)
March 17, 2010
I was gonna say, what about the TMVOA?!?

Maybe I don't fully understand the bylaws of this entity and how it might pertain to a medical center, but it would seem a prudent consideration in evaluating the entire picture. While the Town of Telluride certainly has it's issues, in my opinion the TMVOA is an inherently "stacked deck" which any entity considering the TMV as a home ought to consider it's implications very carefully!
Ed, Great Idea!
March 16, 2010
And lets be sure that the TMVOA pays for the new building...since obviously the economics of running a med center in Telluride involve a rent free lease (at least for another 20 years at $1 per year)...

Add the new building costs to the TMVOA's Gondola costs...

ed asner
March 16, 2010
I suggest moving the Village Market into the core and putting the med center in the current Market location. If the Village Market were in the core, hundreds of additional people would be in the core every week adding to core vitality. The med center could probably fit well into the market's current space, would have good access from both the village bypass run for ski patrol, and as well as the G.
uh...one salient
March 16, 2010
fact left out..the lease for the existing building is indeed for another 20 years but at a $1 per month..ie rent free....

this is just a monument to the med center...
March 16, 2010
...Mr Delves, please do "woo" the medical center from Telluride. It would be better to locate our regional medical services provider outside the stranglehold of the town of Telluride. The irrational and conflicted political climate in the town of Telluride makes its current location a very poor choice. (And the residents in Telluride have no interest in a quality facility located in town. They've already made that clear.) Establishing a medical center in the Mountain Village is the only solution to offering quality medical and ER services to members of our community and guests.

Mountain Village residents, wouldn't you rather control your own destiny? Bye bye Telluride.