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Prop 480 election results: Flagstaff votes 'no' on proposed $800 million hospital

A rendering of the proposed Flagstaff Medical Center campus at Fort Tuthill.
Northern Arizona Healthcare
A rendering of the proposed Flagstaff Medical Center campus at Fort Tuthill.

Local election results are still rolling in, but initial numbers show Flagstaff residents are against a referendum to move forward with plans to build a new $800 million healthcare facility.

Seventy-two percent of voters — about 8,550 — voted "no" on Proposition 480. City officials say that's with 100% of Flagstaff precincts reporting.

The Flagstaff City Council approved the first phase of the $800 million hospital and ambulatory care center earlier this year. The decision was met with pushback due to a lack of information about the project or its potential community impact. The group Flagstaff Community First submitted thousands of signatures to get the issue on the special election ballot.

Opponents of Prop 480 say the case is an example of democracy at work and highlights the need for developers and city council to include the public in rezoning requests of this magnitude.

“We want a process that ensures genuine public participation on proposals that dramatically impact the community, not one that seeks input after the train has left the station,” Michele James, executive director of Friends of Flagstaff’s Future, said in a statement.

A Northern Arizona Healthcare spokesperson said in a statement that they are "disappointed" by the results and are evaluating alternative locations for a new hospital.

Approximately 15,800 ballots were cast in the mail-in election for a voter turnout of less than 31%.