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Smart Growth will not ‘pursue litigation’ against hospital expansion

Posted: December 12, 2008 8:09 p.m.
Updated: December 12, 2008 8:27 p.m.
Leaders of Smart Growth SCV, which campaigned for modifications to the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital expansion plan, will not file a lawsuit over the plan's approval, they announced late Friday.

"We have a very strong lawsuit on a case with many irregularities, but we have decided not pursue this controversial matter any further," said David Gauny, chairman of Smart Growth SCV.

Following the recent Santa Clarita City Council approval of the hospital's master plan, the leaders of Smart Growth SCV decided it is in the best interests of the community not to pursue litigation, Gauny said in a statement.

"This has been a very difficult decision, as we remain very concerned about the failed analysis, priorities and assurances provided in this plan," Gauny said.

"There remains no guarantee of an expanded hospital inpatient building, but we have no desire to further delay any possibility that it may happen," he said.

The council's vote Nov. 20 to expand the valley's only hospital followed the introduction of an 11th-hour deal aimed at sweetening the agreement for Smart Growth SCV leaders and trying to head off possible lawsuits if the council approved the plan.

The approved plan did not include that agreement, as it was was introduced too late.

"We all agreed in the meeting to let our attorneys craft binding language for these terms," Gauny said,
"and the leaders of Smart Growth SCV were very disappointed that the hospital partners did not uphold their commitment to request a continuance on the vote.

"Nevertheless, we have done our best to act in good faith and reach positive solutions for the community," he said. "Now, in the interest of the common good, we are determined not to cripple the project through a protracted lawsuit."

The council's approval of a 15-year master plan allows for the construction of three medical office buildings, a central plant, four multi-level parking structures totaling 2,231 spaces, and a 120-bed, five-story inpatient building. The inpatient building and one parking structure would include helipads.

The project is valued at $300 million.


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