Plans for renovations and expansion at Mount Carmel St. Ann's Hospital cleared another hurdle Nov. 21 by gaining the Westerville Planning Commission's approval.

Plans for renovations and expansion at Mount Carmel St. Annís Hospital cleared another hurdle Nov. 21 by gaining the Westerville Planning Commissionís approval.

The plans for the 62-acre complex still must be approved by city council.

Renovations will include a new main entrance, a four-story tower, expanded parking and food services.

The commission voted unanimously to approve the rezoning of the hospital from Planned Industrial District to a Planned Office designation, something the city has said will better fit its needs, but which didnít exist when St. Annís opened in the 1980s.

According to its development plan, the four-story tower will hold additional patient beds for services, including cardiovascular and orthopedics, as St. Annís looks to meet the growing needs of the community.

Plans also call for a bike path to be built along the edge of the hospital campus.

The hospital agreed with the cityís request to designate a vacant parcel it owns on the east side of Cooper Road as a conservation easement, not just open space.

The hospital also agreed to the cityís recommendation of tying the elevations of buildings constructed on its property to setbacks. By doing this, there will be an area on the campus that could allow a building up to 150 feet tall; this would be where the new patient tower would be built and would be in the same area where the main hospital stands now.

The hospitalís development plan calls for expansion at the northeast corner of Copeland Mill Road and Cleveland Avenue and at the northern edge of the hospital campus on Cleveland Avenue.

A tract of land at the northwest corner of Cooper and Schrock roads is expected to be developed in the future, possibly as additional medical offices, but specific plans for the parcel still need to be approved by the planning commission.

The next planning commission meeting is scheduled for Dec. 19 at 6:30 p.m., at City Hall, 21 S. State St.