St. Francis reaffirms clinic denial

After failing to approve the proposed medical clinic at St. Francis High School April 16, the St. Francis City Council unanimously voted to deny the St. Francis School District 15’s request for a conditional use permit (CUP) and zoning ordinance amendment for the clinic May 7.

Voting for the denial is just a reaffirmation of the council’s actions of April 16 and the reasons for the denial, said City Attorney Scott Lepak.

According to the resolution, the CUP was denied because the school is in an urban single-family residential zoning district, which does not allow for medical clinics and the use would inconsistent with the city’s comprehensive plan to allow a commercial use on public property.

The resolution states, “The city council wishes to limit the nonresidential uses within residential districts to currently allowed institutions and not allow any further expansion of potentially incompatible uses within the district.”

The school district had planned to open a 1,000 square-foot medical clinic for employees working 1,020 hours or more in a school year and who are eligible for its Health Partners insurance as a way to save money.

By having the clinic, the district could save nearly $1 million in medical costs over the next three years, according to Tom Larson, district community education, services and custodial/maintenance director.

The district contracted with NeoPath in December for the services of a doctor and nurse and it temporarily opened the clinic at Sandhill Center for the Arts in Bethel.

It had wanted to locate the clinic in St. Francis as that is where 70 percent of its employees are located.

Tammy Sakry is at [email protected]