WellStar responds to commission chair’s letter
by Joshua Sharpe
March 15, 2013 12:00 AM | 2849 views | 3 3 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Discussion about proposed medical facilities in Holly Springs escalated when WellStar Kennestone sent a letter Wednesday to city officials addressing an earlier missive from Cherokee County Commission Chair Buzz Ahrens, which urged the city to carefully consider the plan before accepting it.

The Marietta-based WellStar had their attorney Richard W. Calhoun write the six-page response on their behalf to the mayor and council.

Ahren’s letter, dated March 8, outlined seven concerns the commission had with the requests to rezone land at the intersection of Interstate 575 and Sixes Road and to receive a Conditional Use Permit for the land to possibly build a health park, hospital and hospice facility.

The commission unanimously voted March 5 to have Ahrens write the letter to the city of Holly Springs.

In WellStar’s response, they thanked Mayor Tim Downing and the city council of Holly Springs for providing them with a copy of Ahrens’ letter.

Ahrens’ first concern the letter addressed is that the site of WellStar’s proposed facilities lies in a what the county views as a “primarily residential corridor” and that “to allow full-blown commercial and/or 24-hour operation” on this land would interfere with responsible land use as well as the “quiet enjoyment of residential property owners.”

In WellStar’s letter released Thursday, they argue that comparable projects were planned for the same land (or portions of it) in 1999 and 2005 and that residents from a subdivision adjoining Cherokee County’s new aquatic center, which sits in proximity to the proposed WellStar site, claimed their concerns were ignored by the county.

Ahrens also made mention of the county’s concerns about traffic any such facilities might cause, saying that the site’s close distance to the aquatic center could cause problems.

He also suggested that emergency vehicles running all day and night, with lights and sirens, would be disruptive to homeowners nearby and that one of the two water lines which WellStar has mentioned making use of near the site “has been abandoned by the Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority.”

WellStar responded by saying that “consideration of traffic patterns has already been given in connection with the proposed 1999 and 2005 developments” and that they have hired a firm to evaluate traffic concerns and the contractor confirmed the “ability of existing infrastructure to accommodate” future traffic by the WellStar development.

In regard to emergency vehicles, WellStar stated that they’d already been told by their EMS providers that sirens at the intersection of Sixes Road and Gresham Mill Road could be turned off.

As for the water-line issue, WellStar said in the letter that the Cherokee County Water and Sewage Authority has told them that sufficient water and sewage capacity is available at the site.

Ahrens closed his letter to the city of Holly Springs by saying that the county continues to review the situation and may have more concerns to present to the city. He also acknowledged that, while the decision on WellStar’s requests is up to Holly Springs, they wanted to have their concerns heard.

WellStar closes by stating that the property is “an appropriate location for a medical campus and hospital” and that they were confident that Holly Springs would “make the correct decision.”
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Common Tater
March 15, 2013
What I am missing in the BOC's opposition to Wellstar?

Don't most injured people want to be transported to Wellstar Kennestone instead of Northside Cherokee? Are there plans to upgrade Northside Cherokee to a Level II Trauma Center?
March 15, 2013
As I understand it, (only been here 3 yrs) but at a recent meeting, NorthSide wanted to build on this site several years ago and Wellstar put up a fight and being the large corp NorthSide appears to be, stepped aside and went North on 575 for more property and more space. From my viewpoint a good decision on their part. Now Wellstar wants to move in and maybe built something in 8 to 10 years. Now just as a working man, the same rules that applied to Northside then MUST&SHOULD apply to Wellstar now. And don't forget those of us that live here are watching the Mayor and who he wants in. Buy the way, Mr. Mayor, you could have already had the hosp. there years ago, but Wellstar didn't want Northside to build. Sixes road traffic, if you live here it is getting worse not better. By the way, if you build here your entered into the tax base too...No free rides...get off the working man back for all the taxes...
bug fuzz
March 15, 2013
Let's see now. At the Sixes exit we now have a main residential housing corridor, a shopping center with Home Depot as the anchor ,a yet to be completed Northside Hospital 400 bed, facility with a yet to be started emergency facility (complete with sirens and flashing lights up to the ramp, an ill advised aquatic center (complete with out door water park), and now a proposed Wellstar facility. Did I miss anything? Both the county and the City of Holly Springs have reasonable concerns. My concern is how many employees, that will be employed by the competing medical groups, live and pay taxes in Cherokee county? What value do either groups add to the tax digests involved.Do we need major medical services? You betcha. Sounds like another royal mess brought to us by insulated elected officials. Term limits on all sides is the answer.Thanks.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, spam, and links to outside websites will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides