Community Memorial Hospital District Code - Ventura, California
Massing model of Hospital District in Midtown context
Aerial photo of Hospital District in 2013
Unique massing-based development code for hospital core buildings
To comply with SB-1953 - the State law requiring that California hospitals meet current seismic safety standards, Ventura's non-profit Community Memorial Hospital (CMH), determined that a major new tower was the most practical approach to compliance. They also determined that remaining in their existing, midtown location - surrounded by commercial and residential neighbors - was preferable to moving outside town to a larger, less constrained site. To ensure neighborhood compatibility, CMH retained a planning team led by local architectural firm Rasmussen & Associates, and a Moule & Polyzoides urban design team directed by David Sargent. In a public charrette in April 2008 the team worked closely with CMH, neighboring property owners and residents and others to arrive at a conceptual design for the hospital and surrounding blocks. To implement that plan, and to ensure that current and future new hospital buildings are massed and designed appropriately in relation to the surrounding properties, the team prepared a form-based development code for the Hospital Zone. The Hospital District Code is structured as an extension of the Midtown Corridors Code that regulates surrounding properties, prepared in 2006 by an HDR Town Planning team under Mr. Sargent's direction while a principal with that firm. In recognition of the unique programmatic and functional requirements of a hospital, the team devised a "massing regulating plan" that defines building envelopes and frontage standards for the hospital properties to ensure compatibility with the surrounding neighborhoods. The new hospital is under construction and scheduled for completion in 2015.