Beverly Hills approves more zones for medical space

An ordinance in voted out on Sept. 20 allowing increased medical office uses in the city’s commercial zones the Beverly Hills City Council.

Only City Councilman John Mirisch voted against it else the ordinance passed 4-1.

The Sept. 20 vote accompanied best one public comment, though council contributors and members of the general public spent most of the Sept. 12 council meeting debating the ordinance.

In November 2020, following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city followed an urgent ordinance to transform the current business ground region to medical uses as a manner to buoy suffering agencies and meet the expanded call for medical services.

The urgency ordinance became later extended, and following a public hearing in July, the planning commission introduced the new ordinance at the Sept. 12 City Council meeting.

According to the ordinance, “The proposed adjustments to the medical use guidelines in sure commercially zoned areas will assist foster an economically sustainable commercial district that incorporates a combination of makes use of and services, and make contributions to residents’ health and well being by providing community-serving medical uses.

Additionally, “The proposed adjustments to the medical use guidelines will extra effortlessly permit medical uses to be established in diverse commercial zones of the city, which presents more business and investment possibilities for medical companies and commercial property owners, and might assist revitalize vacant or distressed commercial office spaces,” the ordinance read.

Under the new law, all buildings which have acquired a certificate of occupancy from the city prior to Feb. 11, 2011, are actually taken into consideration as registered medical buildings.

Registered medical buildings can convert as much as 6,000 square feet of preferred office space into medical floor areas so long as they may be located in certain commercial zones and acquire accommodation from the community development director, amongst different conditions.

Also, buildings are prohibited from offering medical services on the ground floor or opening specific “specialty clinics.”

Councilman Lester Friedman, however, said during the Sept. 12 meeting he was concerned about some of the conditions limiting the size of operating rooms.

Looking at how much medical space has been added since the urgency ordinance went into effect in 2020, Mirisch stated he became worried that the brand new ordinance could lead to an oversaturation of medical space in business zones, and he advised a “sunset” to force the council to reexamine the issue in some years.

“I suppose it’s not going to get any less difficult to rent general office space in the future. I suppose that us getting some of this space taken by clinical at this point in time is the right thing to do,” Mirisch stated. “I simply think we need to be able to pump the brakes on it.”

A clause in the ordinance passed on Sept. 20 states that the new provisions will be reviewed approximately every 3 years.