UPDATED: Holly Springs Approves WellStar Rezoning, But Denies Permit Request
The split decision grants WellStar its rezoning, but denies the permit to build a hospice or hospital.
Editor's note: the story has been updated with reaction from WellStar and Northside Hospital.
The Holly Springs City Council rendered a split decision on two requests from Marietta-based WellStar Health System.
The voted to approve a request from the company to rezone 62 acres at the southwest corner of Sixes Road at Interstate 575 from general commercial and mixed use to entirely general commercial.
However, it voted to deny granting a conditional use permit to the company to build the hospital or personal care home.
The company would still be allowed to build the health park, which would include a medical office building as it's allowed under general commercial uses.
Both votes were tallied as 4-0-1, with council member Karen Barnett abstaining. Barnett is an MRI technician with WellStar.
The council meeting was standing room only, with about 60 people packed into the council chambers to hear the council hear its decision. The council did not have any discussion on WellStar's request.
WellStar Spokesperson Keith Bowermaster said the company was "disappointed" with the council's decision.
"We believe this is the right project at the right location and at the right time, and the denial is a loss for the citizens of Holly Springs and Cherokee County," he stated. "We will now evaluate our options and decide next steps."
While no one spoke in favor or against the WellStar application, the overwhelming majority of those in the audience expressed their opposition to WellStar by wearing "Northside" stickers on their clothing.
Northside Hospital-Cherokee earlier this month expressed concerns with WellStar's request.
Along with Northside, Cherokee County Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens also presented to the city a letter outlining the county's concerns about the Marietta-based company's proposal.
As expected, Northside was "pleased by the Council’s vote Monday evening."
"The residents of Cherokee County are well served by Northside Hospital-Cherokee, the many current outpatient service locations, and those opening in the near future," Northside Hospital Spokesperson Russ Davis said. "We are appreciative of the many Cherokee residents who remain so supportive of their local community hospital."
The council also voted unanimously to annex 2.04 acres 3095 Marble Quarry Road into the city.
However, the council voted 4-1, with council member Michael Zenchuk opposing, a request to rezone the property from office & institutional in Cherokee County to neighborhood commercial.
The Holly Springs Planning & Zoning Commission recommended the property to be annexed, but did not recommend approving to rezone the property.