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Residents To Put WellStar's Plans in Holly Springs Under Microscope

Homeowners' associations along the Sixes Road corridor will hold a meeting for residents to learn more about WellStar's plans to possibly build a facility in Holly Springs.

While WellStar Health System has decided not to proceed with obtaining a green light from the state for a free-standing emergency department in Holly Springs, that isn't stopping residents from organizing to inform their neighbors about the company's plans.

A meeting has been set for 6:30 p.m. Monday at Liberty Elementary School for residents who live in BridgeMill and along Sixes Road to learn about what WellStar would like to do with roughly 62 acres on the southwest corner of Sixes Road and I-575.

Jay Patouillet, president of the BridgeMill Community Association, said the homeowners association of BridgeMill and The Falls of Cherokee decided to organize a meeting to inform residents about WellStar's plans due to the proximity of the project to adjacent neighborhoods.

Calling any development on the area a "community issue," Patouillet said representatives with WellStar, Northside Hospital, Cherokee County and the city of Holly Springs have also been invited to the meeting. 

Patouillet said he expects at least 75 people to attend the meeting.

WellStar in January initially filed a letter of intent with the Georgia Department of Community Health to build a $21 million off-site emergency center on Sixes Road at Interstate 575.

However, WellStar Spokesman Keith Bowermaster said the company decided not to file for a certificate of need review to move forward with their request. 

The CON has to be filed 30 days after a letter of intent is filed with the department. The CON Program evaluates proposals for new health care facilities or services. 

Bowermaster told Patch earlier this month that there's "no precedent" in Georgia for a free-standing emergency department to get the CON stamp of approval. 

"We are very interested in this clinical model, but [we] elected to not file the CONs at this time," he said. "We anticipate that DCH will define a path for serving the community with this new approach."

Bowermaster went on to say that free-standing emergency departments "are consistent with WellStar's commitment to innovative outpatient services."

While they aren't pursuing a CON for the area, they aren't necessarily abandoning plans for the site. The company is set to go back before the Holly Springs Planning and Zoning Commission to discuss their plans at 7 p.m. Thursday Feb. 28.

The meeting will be held in the Holly Springs Municipal Court chambers.

The company has applied with the city to rezone the property from general commercial/mixed used to solely general commercial.

They've also requested a conditional use permit to operate a hospital or similar business and a personal/nursing care home. 

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