Medical City Plano is proposing to expand one of its buildings from four stories to eight stories and use the roof for the hospital's three helipads.

Plano City Council is slated to discuss the expansion to the hospital campus at Coit Road and 15th Street at its Sept. 20 meeting.

Hospital officials say that moving the helipads from ground level to the building's roof would ensure that critical patients would be able to receive care as quickly as possible. But some residents have voiced concerns about the proximity of the helipads to their homes, given the noise caused by helicopter arrivals and departures as well as possible safety issues and a potential decline in property values.

The eight-story Tower C being proposed for expansion is equipped with elevators dedicated to giving patients uninhibited access to the emergency department or operating room, according to city documents. Officials also claim that the helipad relocation will provide safer landing conditions for pilots, allow for fuel efficiency and eliminate the need for security personnel to clear road traffic for each helicopter landing and takeoff.

Existing helipads are currently located 300 feet from the closest residential area, and the proposed helipads would be located 98 feet from the nearest residential area, documents show.

Hospital officials say the rooftop location means less flight time. A study done as part of the proposal also showed that changes in sound would not be noticeable.

“I believe as a representative of these 2,000 physicians that expansion allows us to make sure that we have the right patient in the right place at the right time,” said Dr. Scott van Poppel, chief of staff at Medical City Plano, during the Plano Zoning and Planning Commission's Sept. 6 meeting. “And ultimately that allows us to reach more patients because we allow more capacity at that time.”

The hospital's proposal also includes expansions to inpatient beds; parking; on-site medical office building additions; and to the burn, trauma and care unit.

The Plano City Council meeting will start at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 at City Hall. The meeting will also be streamed online.