Henry Mayo and Smart Growth SCV prepare to debate some new and old issues again at tonight’s City Council meeting.Henry Mayo and their partner G&L Realty have been attempting to get a Master Plan and Development Agreement for a major campus expansion passed though the City Council. The plan has come under fire from a large group of residents because of its immense size, and other verbiage in the Development Agreement that signifies no guaranteed commitment to building a hospital.
Last month, some forward movement was attained at the City Council level regarding the Henry Mayo/G&L Realty Campus Expansion plan. Several concessions had been made, including lowering the Master Plan time frame from twenty five years to fifteen, and eliminating some planned buildings, which included a proposed administration building and a second section of the proposed hospital.
Perhaps the largest question was that of an actual hospital inpatient building. In the first two Development Agreements, there was specific verbiage that read “No Obligation to Develop.” In that section, it went on to free the developer from committing to actually building any part of the project.
Smart Growth SCV, the main opposition to the plan had called much attention to this detail. City Council members have also repeatedly called for a specific commitment to building an inpatient building at some point in the project.
Now however, with the revised Development Agreement, the exact same section remains. In section 4.6, the section reads: “Nothing in this agreement is intended, should be construed nor shall require Developer to proceed with the construction of any Project Improvements on the Campus Property.”
“After telling us for years that this key missing ingredient was an ‘oversight’, and prompting all kinds of other ancillary services, it is now clear that this is an office building development without any written commitment to the services they claim…it’s office space under the guise of a hospital expansion,” said David Gauny, head of Smart Growth SCV in a statement released Friday.
When asked to respond to Gauny’s statement, Henry Mayo issued a statement to KHTS. One part of that statement reads: “We'll add up to 120 new hospital beds in a new hospital building.” Their full statement is quoted later on in this story.
This marked difference between the public statement and the legally binding Development Agreement is sure to be a topic at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
“We’re just frustrated that this is in the third incarnation of the Development Agreement,” said Gauny.
And according to the opposition, the Development Agreement has other issues that they will be addressing at tomorrow’s Council meeting.
Henry Mayo Director of Planning and Marketing, Andie Bogdan, responded with the following statement, “We believe the 15-year master plan will meet the demand for high quality health care in a growing community while addressing the concerns of our neighbors. Striking the proper balance was a community-wide effort.
As a result of the hospital master plan, Henry Mayo will make many new, exciting improvements to our campus that are above and beyond what we're already doing today:
We'll build a new helipad so we can continue as a life-saving trauma center for the Santa Clarita Valley. We average fewer than 8 helicopter trips a month, but many are life or death situations.
We'll add up to 120 new hospital beds in a new hospital building.
Medical buildings will be developed so the hospital can expand and enhance services in cancer, heart, women's, spine and orthopedic and imaging services.
And we will provide desperately needed parking for patients, employees and physicians.
We believe every Santa Clarita Valley resident is our neighbor and we are committed to being your community hospital now and in the future.”
Smart Growth SCV will also take Henry Mayo to task over missing attachments that are referred to in the Development Agreement and two proposed buildings that have not had parking allotments accounted for.
There is also the question of the “Centers of Excellence.” These centers were referred to by Henry Mayo at numerous Council meetings, and they are described as specialized places where patients can receive care in spinal, cardiac and other specialized fields. Henry Mayo has said that a percentage of the Medical Office space would be used for these Centers. In the revised Development Agreement, Henry Mayo and G&L commit to a minimum of 20% of only Medical Office Building two to be used for the Centers of Excellence. No commitment has been made to use any part of Medical Office Building One, or Three for these services.
These specific questions will be the center of Smart Growth’s complaints at tomorrow’s Council meeting. Smart Growth had been criticized one month ago by Councilmember Frank Ferry for not providing a determined list of issues they wanted answers for.
KHTS followed up with a consultant to Henry Mayo with one other question. KHTS was concerned with language in section 4.7 (i through iii) which stated that before Henry Mayo/G&L can build Medical Office Building three, they must “commence construction” on a new inpatient building. What does “commence construction” mean?
KHTS asked the consultant if the Hospital was willing to commit to actually putting “steel in the air” as Councilmember Frank Ferry had asked at the last council meeting. In other words, would they be willing to commit to a certain percentage of construction on the inpatient building before starting the third office building? The Henry Mayo Consultant told KHTS that in order to get a construction permit on Medical Office Building three, Henry Mayo would have to do the following for the inpatient building:
- Obtain state approval
- Get a building permit from the City
- Establish a construction contract
- And probably the biggest item, they say they would have to obtain bond financing for the new inpatient building
Henry Mayo's Andie Bogdan also weighed in on that question saying: "It could take nine to twelve months after the start of construction to get 'steel in the air' on the new hospital building, therefore the hospital agrees to receive a building permit on MOB3 at the start of hospital construction, rather than wait for 'steel in the air.' This arrangement provides the hospital greater flexibility to meet local healthcare demand in the event that MOB3 is needed for the community"
KHTS AM-1220 will provide detailed updates on this topic as the Council Meeting nears, as well as immediately after the Council meeting concludes Tonight or early Wednesday morning.