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Hospital releases development agreement

Local critic says commitments don’t go far enough

Posted: August 13, 2008 9:30 p.m.
Updated: October 15, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 

A newly released document in the battle over expanding the Santa Clarita Valley's only hospital includes more commitments to build an inpatient tower and otherwise meets the community's demands, a hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday.

But a community leader who has opposed previous development agreements for Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital expansion says the new document doesn't appear to go far enough.

"Those commitments were written in response to community input and feedback from the (Santa Clarita City) Council," Newhall Memorial spokeswoman Andie Bogdan said Wednesday. "So it's really our demonstration of listening and responding, being a good neighbor and demonstrating our commitment to quality health care."

David Gauny, chairman of citizens' group Smart Growth SCV, isn't so sure.

"It looks like a lot more of the same," Gauny said. "It's regurgitated in longer pages."

Gauny was a lead critic of the hospital's development agreement last year.

In the 60-page development agreement, construction of three lucrative medical office buildings on Newhall Memorial's campus is tied to the progress of the 120-bed inpatient tower, a building that many see as the key element of the 327,000-square-foot expansion plan.

Some residents and activists have been waiting for months to review the new agreement after finding what they said were holes in the previous agreement that guaranteed the three medical office buildings but not the 120-bed inpatient tower.

The new document is an agreement between the city and Newhall Memorial, along with G&L Realty Corp., which would own and manage the medical office buildings.

It is meant to outline the guarantees the developer is providing to the community.

Provisions in the new development agreement include:
n Prior to opening Medical Office Building 1, the hospital must obtain Certificate of Occupancy for the first parking structure.
n Prior to opening the inpatient building, must obtain certificate of occupancy for the first parking structure and Medical Office Building 1.
n Prior to obtaining a building permit for Medical Office Building 2, there must be a written agreement with the city that plans for the inpatient building have been submitted to the state for approval.
n Prior to moving into Medical Office Building 2, there must be written documentation that 20 percent of the building's leasable space must be used for hospital-related uses.
n Prior to obtaining a building permit for Medical Office Building 3, foundations for the inpatient building "shall be substantially complete," and the hospital must obtain a building permit for the third parking structure.

The City Council will weigh in on the development agreement and the hospital master plan - released in late June - in a series of public hearings in the coming months.

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