FAIRLAWN — The Fairlawn Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Thursday to discuss a potential backup location for an orthopedic center in Fairlawn has been canceled.

Crystal Clinic has said its preferred location for its Crystal Clinic Orthopaedic Center, for which the planning commission has already approved a final site plan, is at 3557 Embassy Parkway.

The clinic has been preparing a backup location at 951 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road in the Fairlawn Corporate Park.

According to the agenda announcing the meeting’s cancellation, an item relating to the backup location has been tabled. A review of the preliminary site plan for the project had been scheduled for Thursday.

Crystal Clinic announced plans last year to build a 160,000-square-foot orthopedic facility with 12 operating rooms and 60 inpatient beds in Fairlawn.

The project has faced fierce criticism and a lengthy court battle from Bath homeowners whose properties abut the site. Their objections include the height of the facility, which would be one of the tallest buildings in the city at nearly 50 feet high, with another 10 feet of mechanical equipment on the roof.

Other concerns include light and sound pollution, decreasing property values, safety issues and concerns with patients being able to look into their homes and yards.

According to the clinic, the specialty orthopedic elective-based acute care facility would include 24-hour care, but there would be limited hours for elective inpatient and outpatient surgery, with no dedicated emergency department or helipad, limited ambulance traffic and no on-site retail pharmacy.

Late last month, Summit County Common Pleas Chief Magistrate Kandi O’Connor denied a request for a temporary restraining order filed by attorneys for the nearby Bath homeowners to prevent construction at the Embassy Parkway site.

There are at least four cases in Summit County Common Pleas Court related to the center.

Crystal Clinic spokesperson Rick Worrell said this week the clinic is still moving ahead on the Embassy Parkway site, with the Fairlawn Corporate Park location a “plan B.”

Crystal Clinic has previously said in court documents it would lose millions in construction costs if the project were moved.

Worrell said the targeted completion date for the center is 2021.

To allow facilities like the Crystal Clinic center to be built in the Fairlawn Corporate Park location, Fairlawn’s five-member planning commission last month unanimously approved recommending Fairlawn City Council add a new classification to the city’s zoning code to allow for specialty hospitals and rezone the 14.8 vacant acres in the corporate park to the new zoning.

The council gave the ordinance a first reading at its June 3 meeting and a second reading at its June 17 meeting. A public hearing on the ordinance is set for 6:30 p.m. Monday in council chambers at Fairlawn City Hall, 3487 S. Smith Road. The council will only move forward on voting on the ordinance if the clinic decides to move its center to the corporate park.

 

Contact reporter Emily Mills at 330-996-3334, emills@thebeaconjournal.com and @EmilyMills818.