Attention, Sandy City Council.
Your decision to allow a new K mart to be built on 8020 South is making officials of a local hospital sick.The management of Western Rehabilitation Institution, 8074 S. 1300 East, doesn't want K mart as a neighbor and has formally protested its construction north of the hospital.
Hospital physicians say a busy department store will have a negative impact on the patients they now treat. Plus, they say, it will deter physicians throughout the Intermountain Area from referring patients to the hospital, which specializes in acute physical medicine and rehabilitation care.
"Many of my patients suffer from brain injuries that produce a variety of cognitive impairments. It is essential that therapy for these patients be provided in a calm and non-distracting environment that is free of excessive noise levels and stimulation," wrote Dr. Joseph Vic Roy, an institute physician. "These patients can become confused and agitated in the presence of excessive stimulation."
A group of Sandy residents, fearful the commercial development will increase traffic and noise, also protested the so-called High Point Project, which includes K mart. They accused the City Council of putting economic development ahead of the safety of residents.
But on Feb. 21, the Sandy Planning Commission approved the project.
"They approved the conditional for K mart as well as preliminary site plan without any regard for my clients or recommendations by the staff," said Marc Mascaro, the Salt Lake attorney representing the hospital.
Western Rehabilitation filed a written appeal of the Planning Commission decision with the City Council. That appeal included letters from physicians and local hospitals "indicating there are health concerns putting a K Mart next to the hospital."
A decision on that appeal will be made at the weekly Sandy City Council meeting Tuesday night.
"The decision will be made tonight as to whether the Planning Commission followed the right procedures," said Ron Gee, chairman of the City Council and former member of the Planning Commission. "I believe the concerns of the hospital were all met in their meetings with the Planning Commission. We have one of the strictest planning commissions in the state when it comes to land use and development."