Up until now, Panama City Beach had a 65-foot height restriction for most buildings.
That just not going to be tall enough to accommodate the work that will take place inside of the new Tallahassee Memorial Hospital facility off Highway 79 in West Bay.
Hospitals many times need medical equipment that needs a taller ceiling, explained Panama City Beach Councilman Paul Casto.
The restrictions also make it difficult to post adequate emergency room signage.
“We approved this so they could put signage on the hospital,” Casto said. “Very important was the emergency facility to have adequate signage so they’re able to put signage on the side of the hospital or for people that are not from here, they’re trying to find their way to the hospital emergency room.”
Council members heard the first reading of the variance almost a month ago.
Thursday they gave the plan their final approval.
“We’re doing it because that way they can build to suit the design of the medical facility,” Panama City Beach Councilman Michael Jarman said. “We’re very happy to be able to finally start seeing some groundbreaking and some wall-raising for the medical campus. And so hopefully within the next few years, we’re going to see the actual hospital going up. And it’s been a long time coming for the city of Panama City Beach and everyone should be really proud that we’re getting it.”
The Tallahassee Memorial facility has been under construction for several months.
The first facility will be an 80,000-square-foot medical office building.
It will house primary care physicians, an urgent care center, an ambulatory surgery center, cardiology, and orthopedic services.
Plans also include a 100-bed hospital with an emergency center and other inpatient services including surgery, cardiology procedures, and imaging.
It will also be a teaching hospital as Tallahassee Memorial has a partnership with the FSU medical school to train doctors and nurses.