The doctor for St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, Dr. George Paletta, awaits the green light from the city in order to expand his specialized orthopedic surgery practice into Chesterfield Valley.
Paletta came before Chesterfield's Planning Commission Wednesday night, asking for amendments that would allow patients to stay overnight for "observation" after surgery at a proposed facility near Boone's Crossing exit from Highway 40/64.
He testified that out of 150 surgeries a week, maybe six people would stay overnight for observation. There are 10 doctors associated with the specialized practice, Paletta said.
Paletta said he primarily does surgery on torn ligaments in the leg, shoulder and arm.
"It's a very select group of patients," Paletta said. "These are healthy individuals."
Other physicians in the group specialize in other areas of the body. Paletta said that orthopedic surgery is evolving to include more outpatient procedures that could benefit by an overnight stay for observation.
The city approved building on the lot in 2008, but nothing went up. So Paletta's request was an amendment, and would typically speed the project's progress.
Chesterfield Mayor Bruce Geiger pointed out that the project takes into account the potential for major roadway changes at the location, if nearby Taubman Prestige Outlets are successfully completed.
Taubman has requested an additional sales tax to help pay for road changes related to traffic flow to the outlets mall, and Paletta's business would be at an involved intersection.
A lawyer for the building construction project said a neighboring office building wanted certain conditions written into the agreement if it moves ahead, as follows:
- No more than 5 percent of the total square footage used for overnight stays
- No more than seven beds
- Stays no longer than 72 hours
- No separate entrance for the overnight service
- No external signs about the overnight stay option
City attorney Robert Heggie said he would look into it.
Paletta's current practice is next door to Delmar Gardents, 14825 North Outer Forty Road, in Chesterfield.
He said that the business was "bursting at the seams" and needed the additional space.
The city has not yet voted on Paletta's request, which was not clear in a previous version of this article.