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:
- 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
- DPD disregarded environmental factors on how the proposed development will affect the community
- 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
- DPD did not require a Transportation Management Plan to reduce the impact of hospital commuters on the neighborhood
- 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.