Letters: NDH expansion shouldn’t compromise aesthetics

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We all want the hospital to be the best medical facility possible. Improvements are essential, but we need to examine what this entails. At the planning board meeting Nov. 18, a gentleman spoke about growing up near the Mayo clinic and witnessing first-hand how expansion, while benefitting the hospital, damages the surrounding area. A woman relocating from Long Island suggested that her town changed drastically due to their hospital’s expansion. Both stressed long-term planning.

Ruge’s Subaru was built paying close attention to the placement of its vehicle inventory. An office/showroom was built closer to the road while placing the cars behind. The Mathies’ Mobil gas station by the fairgrounds also did an extraordinary job of maintaining aesthetics and I, like so many other residents, commend them for this. I ask that the hospital do the same.

There are three empty houses located south of the fairgrounds that have medical zoning status. If space is a problem, why not consider this location for expansion? Medical offices could use the same technique: build closer to the road while allocating parking behind. This may seem a high investment now, but could have enormous payoffs later while maintaining Rhinebeck’s preservation.

This is not only of interest to those living close to the hospital, many residents feel the same. Honestly, we all could have been wearing a pro-hospital button. This can’t be about us vs. them. At the end of the day, we all deeply care about both the hospital and maintaining the beauty of our village.

Sarah Hill

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