Today, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled voters will decide the rezoning of land near I-17 and I-40 on which Northern Arizona Healthcare is planning to construct a new hospital to replace the aging and undersized current Flagstaff Medical Center facility.
NAH had appealed an earlier court decision about the rezoning referendum because the language of the petition asks voters whether they want the land rezoned for retail and commercial development, and makes no mention of a hospital, which is the primary permitted use of the site.
NAH supports the public’s right to refer the Flagstaff City Council’s June 2023 zoning approval to the November city ballot. It was the misleading language of the referendum petition that prompted the court challenge. Voters who signed the petition did so on the misrepresentation that NAH will be constructing retail and commercial buildings, rather than what it is actually permitted to build: a hospital and ambulatory care center. In fact, NAH is strictly prohibited from opening retail and commercial businesses on the land in question, and can only construct a hospital, ambulatory care center, open space and parking on the rezoned site.
In light of the decision, NAH is prepared to inform Flagstaff city voters that the referendum listed on the ballot as Proposition 480 is about building a hospital, not about building retail and commercial development.
The concerns of the community are important to NAH, which is why it spent years developing this proposal, holding community meetings and adapting the plan to respond to community concerns. The organization recognizes that members of the Flagstaff community desire more information about the project, and NAH is committed to continuing to engage with residents, including about future plans for the reuse of the current hospital site.