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Permanent facility for multiple medical specialists proposed

By Staff | Sep 23, 2009

Plans to construct a permanent medical facility on Sanibel, which will offer a number of doctors, specialists and on-site laboratory services to the community which has long gone without, were presented to the Planning Commission for their consideration on Tuesday.

The applicant, Dr. John Frizzell, is seeking to construct two single-story office buildings on the 2.4 acre parcel, located at 600 Tarpon Bay Road, currently owned by the Samuel M. Bailey Trust.

Dr. Frizzell, a gastroenterologist from Frederick, Md. who also owns a home on West Gulf Drive, would like the facility to offer medical specialists – such as a cardiologist, oncologist, pediatrician, OB/GYN, family practitioner, etc. – and laboratories for blood work and/or X-ray examinations which are currently not available on Sanibel.

According to the application, Building “A” would be comprised of one unit containing 1,953 square feet of space and three units, each containing 1,245 square feet of space. Building “B” would be comprised of three units, each containing 1,896 square feet of space. The facility would accommodate seven practitioners and 14 employees.

The buildings would be situated approximately 30 feet apart, with a portico and connected common deck provided to allow for patient drop-off and pick-up.

Commissioner Paul Reynolds questioned why the site plan associated with the application contained eight handicap-accessible parking spaces, rather than the requirement of four spaces.

“People who have a handicap tag can park in any available space, but people who don’t have one can’t do that,” he said, noting that limiting the number of regular parking spaces at the facility may be problematic. There are a total of 62 spaces budgeted on site.

Dr. Phillip Marks, who praised the notion of bringing such a medical campus to the island, questioned the interior design plans submitted within the application. Those drawings revealed only building dimensions, absent of interior wall layouts and designs.

“I think I’d like to see more detailed drawings, like where the blood drawing stations might be or where the X-ray machine might be located,” he said, adding that those layouts could be adjusted throughout the process until plans become finalized.

Prior to the current application for the Tarpon Bay Medical Center, a resolution allowing for a temporary medical facility at the site had been approved last September. Because the Samuel M. Bailey Trust still owns the property and intends an identical use permit for the site, planners were requested to extend that resolution for another year. The commission voted unanimously, 7-0, in favor of that request.

“Sam Bailey’s dream is to have a medical facility on that site,” said Planning Commission chair Michael Valiquette. “He’s been working on this for quite some time and has turned down more money from a restaurant developer in order to bring this to Sanibel.”

Representatives for Dr. Frizzell also agreed to provide elevation drawings and detailed floor and roof plans when the resolution is brought back to the commission on Oct. 13.