FLAGSTAFF — About two weeks after Northern Arizona Healthcare held a public forum to discuss its plans for a new hospital and bolster support for its rezoning request, there will be another forum on Tuesday night. But this time, it’s the opposition group’s chance to urge voters to say ‘no’ to Proposition 480 come November.
The ballot referendum will let voters decide on rezoning nearly 100 acres of undeveloped land near Fort Tuthill County Park for the first phase of Northern Arizona Healthcare’s proposed Health and Wellness Village. If approved, construction is expected to cost $800 million and be completed in 2027.
Tuesday’s meeting will be hosted by Flagstaff Community First, the coalition that introduced the petition to put the rezoning question in the hands of voters after the Flagstaff City Council approved the rezoning in May.
Members of the group have taken issue with several aspects of the proposed development. They object to the lack of environmental impact studies and the lack of clarity around the redevelopment of the existing hospital campus north of downtown. Objections have also been raised to the subsequent phases of Northern Arizona Healthcare’s plans for a Health and Wellness Village, which include retail shops and more.
Representatives from Northern Arizona Healthcare spent much of their meeting on Sept. 27 emphasizing that the ballot measure deals exclusively with rezoning for a hospital, associated medical offices and a parking garage. All future aspects of the site’s development will need to go through a separate City Council approval process.
“There is no commercial component to Prop. 480; there is no residential component to Prop. 480; there is no third-party developer component to Prop. 480,” the hospital’s Vice President of Construction and Real Estate Development Steve Eiss told the packed room during the meeting. “It’s our land. It’s our building. We’re building it with our own money.”
Flagstaff Community First’s two-hour meeting is scheduled to kick off at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the Community Room at the Flagstaff Aquaplex at 1702 N. Fourth St.
The following day, the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership is hosting a free webinar focused on Proposition 480 hosted by former Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans and Dave Engelthaler, a director and professor with TGen North, the infectious disease arm of the nonprofit Translational Genomics Research Institute.
Panelists include former Flagstaff Vice Mayor Al White, President and CEO of the Economic Collaborative of Northern Arizona Gail Jackson, Clinical Professor of Dental Hygiene at Northern Arizona University Tracye Moore, Coconino County Health and Human Services Director Kim Musselman, former Northern Arizona Healthcare board member Mike Martinell and Northern Arizona Healthcare Board of Directors Vice Chair Daryl Melvin.
The webinar is scheduled to run from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. More information about how to attend the webinar is available on the event’s webpage.
The last day to register to vote in the November election is Oct. 10. Ballots will be mailed out to voters the following day. Ballots must be mailed back to the County Recorder by Oct. 31 or dropped off in person before 7 p.m. on Nov. 7.
Reach the reporter at [email protected].
The Republic’s coverage of northern Arizona is funded, in part, with a grant from Report for America. To support regional Arizona news coverage like this, make a tax-deductible donation at supportjournalism.azcentral.com.