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Public Hearing on Mary Washington Healthcare’s Expansion Plan Scheduled

- April 22, 2024
Photo by Robinson Recalde on Unsplash

Mary Washington Healthcare’s plans to build a new medical clinic where Kids’ Station daycare and preschool is now will be subject to a public hearing before the Fredericksburg Planning Commission on Wednesday.

The hospital system is requesting a rezoning to replace the 1993 general development plan and permit the demolishment of Kids’ Station and the construction of a two-story medical clinic in its place.

The plan also includes construction of a three-story office and conference center and a 6,000-square-foot addition to Snowden House—more than doubling the size of the house.

City staff are recommending approval of the proposed rezoning, which amends the proffers attached to the 1993 plan to conform to the new general development plan.

The proposed new proffers include the following uses for the new and renovated buildings in the rezoning area, “Child-Care Center; Dwellings, Single-Family Detached; Hospital; Medical Laboratory; Medical Treatment Facility; Pharmacy; Office: Medical and Dental; Office: Business and Professional Services; Heliport; Assembly Hall; and Parking Garage.”

The Kids’ Station KinderCare building would be razed, but because “child-care center” has been added as a potential use, it could “move into any of the buildings in the rezoning area, even if it is not shown on the GDP,” planning department staff wrote in a memo for the Planning Commission.

The project is proposed to take place in three phases, “intended to permit the Kids’ Station KinderCare to remain as long as possible during construction,” according to the staff memo.

Phase 1 would take place between August of this year and December of next year, and would include construction of the conference center, 66 new parking spaces, and a new entrance on Sam Perry Boulevard; the expansion of Snowden House; and “the removal of approximately ½ of the [Kids’ Station] playground.”

The rest of the playground would be removed during Phase 2 of the project (September through December of 2025), but the child-care center could continue to operate.

Kids’ Station would be demolished and the new clinic constructed during Phase 3 of the project, anticipated from September of 2025 to September of 2026.

“Unlimited use” of the expanded Snowden House is proposed to begin during Phase 2 of the project. The new proffers specifically state that the new proposed use for the expanded house is “Dwelling, Single-Family Detached.”

The staff memo states that “Snowden House is currently used by Mary Washington Healthcare for meetings, receptions, and fundraising activities. With the proposed expansion to the back of the house, the front portion of the building would be converted back into a residence and the addition would be used for events.”

The Advance asked MWHC last month whether Snowden House is being renovated as a residence.

In an email response, Eric Fletcher, the hospital system’s senior vice president and chief strategy officer, said, “There are no plans for the use of the residential space in the house. The renovation is primarily about making the Snowden house a larger, more modern event space to allow for more engagement with our community, somewhat like the Jepson Center at the University of Mary Washington.”

Wednesday’s Planning Commission meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. Citizens wishing to speak about the expansion plans can attend the meeting or send written comments to be read aloud during the public hearing by sending an email to: [email protected].

Written comments can also be hand delivered to the Community Planning and Building department at 601 Caroline Street, fourth floor. Written comments must be received by 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24.

There will be a 40-minute cap for all written comments to be read aloud.  

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