SACO — A New Hampshire-based chain of urgent care centers is seeking a contract zone change allowing it to build a walk-in clinic on the site of Rosa Linda’s Family Restaurant in Saco.

Mammoth Acquisitions LLC proposes demolishing the restaurant at 506 Main St. and building a ConvenientMD center.

ConvenientMD has locations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The health care provider markets itself as cheaper than emergency rooms or hospital-affiliated urgent care centers.

ConvenientMD clinics provide treatment for many illnesses and injuries and also offer school, sports camp and occupational physicals and screenings.

Hospitals and health care clinics are already permitted at the 506 Main St. location, but the developer has a few requests that are not permitted. The developer seeks a 15-foot setback in the front of the building instead of the required 40 feet. The proposal calls for a sign of about 325 square feet, more than twice the 150-square-foot limit. The developer also proposes a 43-foot high building – city zoning caps buildings at 35 feet at that location.

The health center would be 5,140 square feet, while Rosa Linda’s is 3,521 square feet, according to information from City Planner Zach Moser.

The Planning Board and city staff have both recommended allowing the proposal, according to city documents.

The City Council has the final say on contract zone requests. A public hearing is scheduled for Dec. 3 and the council will vote on it at a later date.

Project Manager Darrin Stairs wrote in an Oct. 22 letter to the city that because of site limitations, it is difficult to build a suitable building and adequate parking within current setback requirements. Stairs wrote that the project would include landscape improvements to enhance the street frontage.

Stairs said a larger sign in front of the building would make it easier for patients to find the center. He also said ConvenientMD doesn’t have an abbreviated name or logo to use instead of the full name of the company.

Stairs said a 43-foot building height would allow for better design and configuration.

Denise McDonough, regional vice president of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, said in an Oct. 31 letter to the city that she thought ConvenientMD would be a “terrific” addition to the city.

“ConvenientMD offers a unique alternative to the emergency room for a broad scope of non-life-threatening issues, and has been an excellent partner in improving the health care system in New Hampshire. Their clinical teams are led by emergency room-experienced providers, and are capable of treating higher acuity issues than other walk-in facilities,” McDonough wrote.

Southern Maine Health Care operates a walk-in care center at 655 Main St., about a half-mile away from the proposed ConvenientMD urgent care center.

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