Community Post

Neighbors & Squire Park appealing city’s Swedish decision

The Squire Park Community Council and two hospital neighbors are gearing up for a September hearing that will consider their appeals of the a key city decision on Swedish hospital’s proposed expansion east of 18th Avenue.  The project has been controversial with neighbors who object to having large institutional buildings bordering their single-family homes.

In June the city’s planning department (DPD) issued a long-awaited decision that categorized the new development as a “minor amendment” to the hospital’s 1994 plan for the campus, allowing the project to proceed with a minimum amount of community input on the project.

The community group’s appeal is targeting five specific elements of the decision:

  1. That the DPD had no authority to approve Swedish’s application, because the hospital campus’s development plan had expired in 2009 and was improperly extended for five years without city council action
  2. DPD disregarded environmental factors on how the proposed development will affect the community
  3. That the decision on minor vs. major amendment was in error, as the new development plan is significantly different than what was approved in the 1994 institutional plan
  4. DPD did not require a Transportation Management Plan to reduce the impact of hospital commuters on the neighborhood
  5. The decision violates city law on the number of parking spaces allowed for a large institution

Squire Park Community Council board member Bill Zozel tells us that pre-hearing jockeying is already under way, with Swedish/Sabey moving to dismiss some elements of the appeal, including the first item regarding the previously granted extension of the institutional plan.

We’ve made several calls to Sabey to get updates on their development plans, but so far have not heard back. 

0 thoughts on “Neighbors & Squire Park appealing city’s Swedish decision

  1. DPD seems to be a vehicle for promoting development no matter what. Witness their new tree policy which gives and gives to developers. Points for permeable concrete? Nice but doesn’t do a thing for the tree canopy. It would be nice to have some folks in this dept. who represented the public.

  2. They are supposed to be working for the public, through those we elect to represent us. I’d rephrase to be ‘nice to have a council that actually represents us.’

    There is some sense to the way that laws are being or not being queued up and passed right now. Witness the prevention of decent tree canopy protection laws or even good compliance with the state mandate for water management measures in favor of a race to superceed with new zoning codes that will set the standard of ‘what is possible’. I am particularly sensitive to this since I live on what has finally been recognised as a landslide prone area, is purposely not recognized as a watershed (since the streams are now paved over), and I see NOTHING being done that will mitigate this situation.

    There is sense to the facts of Neighborhood Plans and MIMPs not being done, updated properly or even the previous work being respected. If you really think about who benefits. That accountability resides with council and the mayor, and we elect them.

    Difficult as it is for the little guy, it’s citizens banding together to make their case, that seems to be the only way to get their attention and possibly force them to do the right thing – update the plans through a valid public process and then follow them, and write laws to support them. The bad or good news is, that while anyone might sue under the Frowth Management Act, it is up to people, not any State oversite group, to pull togther the resources to do so. Likewise when it comes to appeals to the Hearing Examiner.