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Council opts to revisit hospital expansion

Posted: September 24, 2008 9:04 p.m.
Updated: November 26, 2008 5:00 a.m.
 

Santa Clarita City Council members voted this week to revisit Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital’s controversial expansion plans at a special council meeting Nov.19.

Tuesday’s public hearing on the matter was packed with four hours of wrangling over the development agreement, a document that outlines the benefits and guarantees provided to the community in expanding the Santa Clarita Valley’s only hospital.

The plan calls for nine new buildings on the 30.4-acre hospital campus in Valencia.

The 15-year plan includes a 120-bed inpatient hospital building, three medical office buildings, three above-ground parking structures, a subterranean parking structure and turn lanes added to McBean Parkway.

Councilwoman Laurene Weste asked for an extensive list of responses to residents’ concerns which included fears that the three medical office buildings will be made a bigger priority than the key inpatient hospital building.

The council directed hospital officials to rewrite the development last fall when residents and council members grew concerned that the agreement did not provide enough guarantees that the hospital would build an inpatient tower.

Hospital officials released a new agreement this year that ties the construction progress of the inpatient building to the construction of the three medical office buildings.

“I think there is a lot of confusion about the phasing steps of the project,” Weste said. “What happens when, what’s guaranteed and what the steps are in the project.”

She asked for a document “where literally everyone can look at it and say ‘OK, there’s the answer.’”

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