City planning commission and city council will review the documents throughout the next two months

After unveiling its initial plans for the Ochoco Lumber site and new local hospital, St. Charles Health System has submitted finalized plans for city approval.

The City of Prineville Planning Commission reviewed the master plan for Ochoco Lumber property as well as the hospital site plan on Tuesday night. So far, the two plans appear poised for approval.

“They did a good job,” said Planning Commission Chair Marty Bailey, regarding applications that St. Charles and their consultants completed.

Bailey said the commission continued the Ochoco Lumber site master plan to their next meeting on Nov. 19, but approved the hospital site plan contingent upon master plan approval.

“[We were] trying to get some more input from ODOT (Oregon Department of Transportation) in regards to Combs Flat Road access and improvements,” he said of the master plan.

The hospital plan changed very little from when it was publicly unveiled during a late-August open house in Prineville. The floor plan for the facility included a first floor in which the front door opened into an outpatient clinic. One side of the clinic would be reserved for rehab while the other side would provide space for laboratory and imaging, and an emergency department and surgery wing adjacent to those areas.

“It’s all right here — it’s very efficient,” said Bob Gomes, CEO of St. Charles Prineville and Redmond.

Meanwhile, a second floor would be reserved for inpatient beds and administrative offices.

While the hospital garnered relatively quick approval, the master plan, which lays out a development strategy for the entire Ochoco Lumber site, underwent some revisions since its introduction to the public.

Initially, the plan included six sections for future development including residential, multi-family dwellings, and commercial and retail. That has since changed.

“What they have created in their master plan is a table with certain uses that would be allowed,” said City Senior Planner Josh Smith. “They are going to have their own board to review things for design and all that.”

He stressed that while St. Charles would review development applications, the city would still have the final say.

“The idea behind a master plan is the approvals are easier afterward, and quick,” Smith said.

Kirk Schueler, chief administrative officer for St. Charles Health Systems, said that the master plan also underwent changes regarding buffering between the hospital and residential neighborhoods.

“We had some modifications to the setbacks between multi-family use that might come in there and the existing residential,” he added.

Assuming the planning commission receives the information they requested on the master plan, they could approve it by Nov. 19. If they do, the Prineville City Council will review the plans for final approval.

So far, Schueler feels that progress on the hospital is on track with the timeframe they targeted before initiating the process.

“There is some earth work and off-site improvements that we will start in probably late November, if not early December,” he said.

Pending master plan and site plan approval, St. Charles hopes to pull building permits for the hospital by January.

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