San Luis Obispo Physicians Petition City Council To Change Zoning Requirements for Medical Offices
Doctors in San Luis Obispo are petitioning city officials to change zoning requirements that restrict medical offices to certain locations, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reports. Under the city's general plan, medical offices must be located near hospitals and are required to have one parking spot for every 200 square feet of office space, compared with one parking spot for every 300 square feet of office space for other commercial ventures. According to the Tribune, the policies were implemented at a time when patients had to go to the hospital for most procedures. Doctors say that such close proximity to a hospital is not necessary now and that the rules are creating a shortage of medical office space that is prompting providers seeking to expand their practices to relocate outside of the city. In addition, some doctors say that rent in buildings that are zoned for medical offices is "astronomical," according to the Tribune. However, some local developers maintain that there is enough office space available in San Luis Obispo and question the need to change the zoning requirements. Joe DeLucia, a local developer, said, "I think it's somewhat inflated ... the urgency of it." City officials say that they will make the doctors' concerns a "high priority" and that they will work quickly to change the land use policy, the Tribune reports. Such changes could take up to six months because the city is required to amend its general plan and hold public hearings before the city Planning Commission and the City Council (Lynem, San Luis Obispo Tribune, 1/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.