Pflugerville could pave way for hospital

Zoning change would allow for medical space, other uses off SH 130 

A proposed zoning change in Pflugerville could open the door in the coming weeks for the city’s first hospital at a property off SH 130.

The Pflugerville Planning and Zoning Commission will consider a proposed application Sept. 19 to rezone property for a possible hospital and other uses at the northeast corner of Pflugerville Parkway and SH 130, behind the Falcon Pointe neighborhood.

An amendment to update the 148.55-acre property’s development regulations was introduced to the commission Aug. 1. The property’s planned unit development, or PUD, regulations, would be expanded upon to allow a hospital, medical office, medical facility and/or traditional office uses without any limit to the total square footage. The change would also allow for a convenience store with gas pumps.

P&Z tabled the amendment at the Aug. 1 meeting over concerns about the gas station and its proximity to the Primrose School of Pflugerville at Falcon Pointe. Members cited the intention of giving the property owner time to work with the school on where the gas station would be situated to address traffic concerns. The land is owned by Terrabrook Falcon Pointe L.P, which is affiliated with Newland Communities, the developer of Falcon Pointe.

According to the staff report, medical facilities greater than 10,000 square feet require special approval through the specific-use permit process requiring City Council’s approval. With the proposed amendment, medical facilities or offices, regardless of size, would automatically be allowed on the property, according to the staff report. Furthermore, the term “medical facility” was clarified in the amendment to include a hospital.

Pflugerville’s staff recommended approval of the proposed rezoning, stating: “the proposed land-use amendments to include expanded medical and retail opportunities are appropriate for the area due to its location along SH 130 and a major arterial roadway and is generally in accordance with the ‘Employment Center’ concept within the comprehensive plan.”

Rainer Ficken, senior project manager with Newland, said the goal of the amendment was to coincide with the latest plans the company had for the land. He said Newland wanted the word hospital specified in the amendment because the city’s comprehensive plan allows for such a use.

If the commission approves the amendment Sept. 19, it will go to City Council for first reading Sept. 27 and final approval Oct. 11.

Mayor Jeff Coleman said there is no deal to build a hospital in Pflugerville at this point, but the city has been trying to bring a hospital to the city for 10 years.

“[A hospital would] provide a place for people to stay in town if they need that kind of care: emergency or acute,” Coleman said. “Beyond that, it’s an economic development driver.”

Amy Madison, Pflugerville Community Development Corp. executive director, said it is important for the city to zone for a variety of uses as it grows, including a possible hospital.

“The size of our city and our growth indicate it won’t be long before our city will be a location for added health care facilities,” Madison said.

The three hospital systems with a local presence in the surrounding communities are Baylor Scott & White Health, with a location at 300 University Blvd., Round Rock; Seton Healthcare Family, with a location at 201 Seton Parkway, Round Rock; and St. David’s HealthCare, with a location at 2300 Round Rock Ave., Round Rock.

Community Impact Newspaper contacted the three systems about a possible Pflugerville location. Representatives from Baylor Scott & White, Seton and St. David’s all stated they would not comment on possible future locations.

Scott Thomas, Community Impact, 8/31/16,