By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – A growing need for establishing medical clinics in the city was the subject of a public ?hearing held during the March 10 City Council meeting. A proposed amendment to the city's zoning code would allow medical clinics in business-zoned areas where they are not presently allowed.
William Pezzoni, an attorney and a member of the executive committee of the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), spoke in favor of the move, stating there is a substantial need in the community for facilities to provide health care and the emergency process.
“There is a changed convenience is the world today,” said ??Susanne Morreale Leeber, president and CEO of the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce, as she urged councilors to approve the ordinance.? ?She said she is currently working with a medical professional interested in opening an urgent care facility in the city but a zoning change would be required first.
Arthur Bergeron, another local attorney, urged lawmakers to consider the benefit to the city and asked that the change also involve mental health services? He said he is currently representing a client, who is interested in opening a clinic that would providing both medical and mental health services.
Councilor-at-Large Kathleen Robey asked that consideration of limiting a clinic to three physicians be discussed, suggesting that it may be expedient to adjust the limited number.
The proposed amendment states:? “Buildings or portions thereof used by or for licensed physicians and other licensed healthcare practitioners, at which not more than three physicians at one time and practicing daily at the office or clinic with the necessary support staff and occupying a total of no more than 5,000 square feet of space which is designed, intended or used for providing, on a less than 24-hour basis, medical services, including but not limited to urgent care for the treatment of injuries or illness, laboratory testing and x-rays, and occupational health services for employers and employees, but not including elective surgical care, dental clinics, narcotic detoxification and/or maintenance facilities, and medical marijuana treatment centers. ”
A similar change in zoning, initiated by Ward 6 City Councilor Edward Clancy several months ago, was approved by councilors. That change now allows dental clinics to be established in a business district. The medical clinic zoning change, proposed by Ward 3 City Councilor Matt Elder, was sent to the Urban Affairs Committee for review and recommendation to the full council.