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Meeting Date: April 24, 2001

Subject/Title: Status Report on John Muir/Mt. Diablo Medical Center Proposal

Submitted by: Mitch Oshinsky, AICP, Community Development Director

Approved by: Jon Elam, City Manager


No action necessary, report is for informational purposes only.




This item is intended as the informal introduction to the City Council of the Medical Center project referenced above. It is an opportunity to hear from the applicant, discuss the proposal, ask questions, and provide comments to the applicant and staff, prior to the formal applications coming before you. 

The attached conceptual plan and project description letter from the Terrill Company, will provide you with a good orientation to what is being proposed. In brief, the site is located on the south side of Balfour, west of existing Concord Ave. The Highway 4 Bypass is planned for the area of existing Concord Ave., which will be relocated to bisect the subject site. The site consists of 57 gross acres, and is proposed to be split into two parcels of 32 net acres in the eastern area with frontage on Balfour, and 17 net acres west of the relocated Concord Ave.

The 32 acre parcel is proposed for long range, phased development as a mixed use medical campus. The balance of the site is proposed for complimentary commercial/office and high density residential uses.

The existing General Plan designation for the site is a combination of office, neighborhood commercial and high density residential. The draft proposed General Plan Update land use for the site is office business park east of new Concord, and high density residential west of new Concord. The applicant is proposing that the General Plan land use designation for the site be amended to a Special Planning Area (SPA), to allow the uses mentioned above. This would appear to be generally consistent with the direction of the General Plan Update.

The existing Zoning for the site is Planned Development (PD) 20, which divides the site into several subareas, allowing for general commercial, planned employment center, and residential uses. This Zone consists of a much larger area than the subject site, including the Suncal subdivisions, which are residential. The applicant proposes that the Zoning be amended to create a new PD zone specifically tailored for the Muir site only, and to implement the SPA General Plan designation. The proposed permitted uses would include: medical, professional and business offices, hospitals, large residential care facilities, helipads, general and convenience retail sales, multi family residential up to 27 units per acre, and congregate care/assisted living. Proposed uses permitted subject to a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) include churches, private schools, service stations, hotels and motels. These proposed uses appear to be generally consistent with the existing Zoning designations.

Items of note include a proposed maximum building height of 75 feet or 6 stories on the east site, and 40 feet or 3 stories on the west site. Also, the proposed medical transport helipad proposed for the northeast corner of the site, adjacent to the Bypass and Balfour. The approach will be from the southeast, over the Bypass.

The site plan shows a village campus development style, with internal ring road. The first phase medical office building will be oriented toward the Balfour Road entry. 

The applicant has submitted a number of studies for City review and analysis, including a Heliport Design Report, Noise Study and Traffic Analysis. These have been analyzed by staff, with the assistance of Councilman Petrovich, and Planning Commission Chairman Shipley, who have expertise with noise and helicopter matters.

An environmental Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) has been prepared for the project, which concludes that any potentially significant adverse impacts arising from the project, can be mitigated to acceptable levels. The MND is at the public review stage, which closes on May 1. No significant comments have been received to date. Consideration of the project is scheduled for a public hearing by the Planning Commission on May 1. We anticipate bringing the item to the City Council for final approval in May or June.

Councilman Petrovich is the Council appointed liaison on this project. An area of concern is the proposed Development Agreement, which gives certain fee concessions to Muir. However, Muir does not propose to commit to providing any medical uses on the site prior to 20 years out. Councilman Petrovich, the City Attorney and I reviewed this matter on April 18, with the outcome that we advise Council that our position would be to recommend to the Planning Commission and City Council that the Development Agreement add a provision along the following lines:

Medical Office Building #1, including office and clinical practice space for 35 Primary Care Physicians of specialties to be designated by John Muir, and an Urgent Care Center, begin construction within 3 years of approval of the Development Agreement, and that construction be completed prior to occupancy of any non-medical buildings on the 57 acre property.

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