Wisconsin city's ASC zoning laws challenged after OrthoIllinois controversy

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The city council in Beloit, Wis., is considering a zoning change to include an ASC category after a controversy that resulted in OrthoIllinois withdrawing its proposal to build an ASC, Beloit Daily News reported April 29.

The city's zoning ordinance doesn't currently include ASCs, and the OrthoIllinois plan was supposed to be considered a "new use." The "new use" interpretation led to pushback from Beloit Health System when the ASC was proposed. 

The Beloit Plan Commission voted to deny a conditional use permit in November 2020 after a "lengthy back-and-forth between attorneys for both the health system and OrthoIllinois," according to Beloit Daily News.

The Beloit Health System criticized the city's interpretation of new use and filed an appeal that said the facility would be more of a "mini hospital" than an ASC. 

Rockford-based OrthoIllinois withdrew its proposal before the Board of Appeals made a decision, but told the Beloit Daily News it still has plans to open an ASC. 

The Beloit Daily News reported that the city has said the health system "repeatedly mischaracterized" its stance regarding the proposed new use after the health system criticized the city planning staff for purported bias toward OrthoIllinois.

The plan commission will meet on May 19 to review the zoning amendment and the council will review it on June 7.

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