A proposal to construct a six-story specialty medical clinic on Route 14B, also known as Ypao Road, met with resistance at a Guam Land Use Commission meeting Thursday.
In a discussion that divided the commission, the application to allow a height and use variance for the property in Tamuning was denied because of continued road improvements currently planned for that area. However, at least one resident testified that the facility has no place in his neighborhood.
LZ Company, represented by Mark Zhao and Dr. Peter Lombard, had filed the application. Zhao and Lombard, an ophthalmologist, plan to construct a six-story specialty medical clinic. The medical facility/hotel will be an all-in-one site tailored toward patient experience and recovery, Lombard said.
But the clinic can’t be built in that area, one resident said. The increased traffic and increased pressure on the area’s limited water and wastewater infrastructure are just a few items that need to be addressed.
Attorney Jay Arriola said he lives within several hundred feet of the proposed development.
“To be clear, residents are unanimous in their opposition for the zone change or height variance, in particular, for this lot. Not now, not when Ypao Road starts. Not when Ypao Road is done. A six-story hotel/commercial development does not belong there,” he said, adding that the planned facility will stick out like a sore thumb.
Arriola stressed that the development should not be contingent on the Ypao road improvements.
Lombard said, during a Jan. 4 public hearing, that the combined project would have medical spaces and residential spaces for recuperation following eye surgery. The specialty clinic will offer eye services on Guam and other surgical eye procedures. Lombard said his group is looking at potentially incorporating medical tourism in the plan.
According to Zhao, when the investors brought the property, they did not expect to build a six-story facility. They only wanted to construct an eye clinic instead of leasing space. The idea to expand into a hotel and recovery facility came after discussions with Lombard.
“With the surgery that he provides to various island residents, the idea was you could let them stay in within the same area so they don’t have to go out and rent a hotel,” Zhao said.
Tamuning Mayor Louise Rivera said, “This is a wonderful service that they will provide. As much as I would like to approve it, right now, the residents are saying – let’s get the governor and the federal funds. Let’s fix the road first.”
GLUC Commissioner Tae Oh said the development will add value to the area. “I think that, as a commission, we have to consider whether this will be a benefit to the community,” he said.
During the January public hearing, Department of Public Works Director Glenn Leon Guerrero provided a status update on the Ypao Road construction project. At that time, Leon Guerrero said Public Works is working to finalize the right-of-way purchases necessary for the Ypao Road project.
GovGuam and DPW plan to start the Route 14B (Ypao Road) Reconstruction and Widening project this year. The agency recently issued a request for proposal for the professional design and support services for the project.
The road improvement initiative, which is part of the Guam Transportation Improvement Program, will be funded primarily through the use of U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration funds.
Source: The Guam Daily Post : https://www.postguam.com/news/planned-ypao-medical-facility-raises-concerns/article_c1278edc-186d-11e8-aeb1-c368f8433ca5.html