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Hospital Expansion Plan Narrowly Passes Planning Commision

HenryMayoNewhallMemorialHospital and its partner, G&L Realty stood before a packed house at last night’s planning commission meeting and offered up their final revisions of a 25 year master plan for expansion, which were narrowly approved.


It was standing room only last night, as residents came to support their cause, either Henry Mayo or Smart Growth SCV. Smart Growth SCV is an organization of residents that vehemently oppose the proposed plan for Henry Mayo’s expansion, saying it is too big of a project for that area.

The meeting went until in the morning, where it eventually passed the expansion plan with a 3-2 vote. The commission did not, however, pass the agreement between G&L Realty and the City, which would have effectively handcuffed the city once the plan was approved.

The contracted agreement would have granted G&L Realty full approval to build out all phases with out full analysis and mitigation for the full 25 years. The City would have had no ability to slow, stop or modify anything about the plan in the coming years, and it would leave G&L the full discretion to build medical office buildings in whatever priority they deemed.

While the contract agreement did not pass, it is unclear at this time what the legal ramifications will be.

The Planning Commission will now submit its recommendation to the City Council on December 19th, and they will most likely begin to weigh the issue in January.

The whole project still needs approval by the City Council to go into effect.

Over the course of the night, the planning commission heard from city staff and even a traffic engineer, who upon reporting that drive time around the hospital once the expansion is complete will only be 30 seconds longer than it is now prompted laughter from many in the audience.

A G&L Realty representative spoke to the commission, pointing out that in the revised expansion plans, an entire medical office building was removed, and another that was set to be four stories tall, will now only be three. Overall, a total deduction of over 79,000 square feet was in the revision.

David Gauny, head of Smart Growth SCV, gave a presentation that restated his group’s position that they support an alternative plan to double (instead of triple) the campus, and that the new plan still doesn’t guarantee that actual hospital facilities will be built. Only medical office buildings are promised.

 

Jon Dell

KHTS AM 1220 News

11-22-06