Spurned in its bid to build a new hospital on the outskirts of Lawrence, Kan., Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. is turning to the courts for help.
On Feb. 12, the Kansas operating division of the Nashville-based hospital giant petitioned Douglas County (Kan.) District Court to overturn the Lawrence Board of Commissioners' rejection of a use permit.
Columbia needs the permit to build a 70-bed inpatient facility on land it owns adjoining the Mount Oread Medical Arts Centre, where Columbia has doctor's offices and an ambulatory center.
On Dec. 3, 1996, the city commissioners voted 5-0 to deny the use permit after heavy lobbying by Lawrence Memorial Hospital, the city-owned institution that until now has enjoyed an inpatient monopoly in Lawrence (Dec. 9, 1996, p. 17).
In its petition, Columbia asserts the rejection was "unlawful, unreasonable and not in compliance with the procedures and requirements of the city code, zoning ordinances or Kansas statutes."
At deadline, the court had yet to schedule a hearing in the case.