“Community Advocates” tell City that litigation is forthcoming.Members of two local groups intend to file a lawsuit against the City of Santa Clarita.
The groups; Community Advocates for Healthcare SCV and Santa Clarita Organization for Planning the Environment (SCOPE) are planning legal action to overturn the City’s recent approval of the Henry Mayo campus expansion master plan.
The proponents of the potential legislation claim that the City violated state law because they believe the plan’s Environmental Impact Report is “inadequate” and that it does not require proper mitigation of problems that arise due to the project.
According to a notice issued by the attorney for the groups, the petitioners also believe that the City’s approval was “abuse of discretion and must therefore be set aside because the required findings are not supported by substantial evidence and are inconsistent with, and in some instances, violate the City’s own Code.”
The City did not issue a comment on the pending litigation.
The Henry Mayo campus expansion plan was a hotly contested issue for four years of debate before the Planning Commission and City Council. The plan includes a new hospital inpatient facility, several parking structures and three medical office buildings. It was approved November 20th and finalized December 9th.
The petitioners told KHTS that this lawsuit is not intended to stop the inpatient building expansion, but to guarantee it. As passed, the plan does require that some construction milestones are met on the new inpatient building prior to the final two medical office buildings being built, but SCOPE and Community Advocates for Healthcare SCV claim that its not enough to assure the full build out of the hospital.
“This lawsuit does not attempt to prevent the construction of much needed additional hospital beds or other medical facilities,” said Lynne Plambeck, SCOPE President. “Instead, it seeks to ensure that any future expansion of the existing medical facilities to provide such services is done responsibly, in a manner that meets the communities’ medical needs and is consistent with the residential character of the surrounding neighborhood.”
Furthermore, since this is the first Master Plan passed by the City, SCOPE worries that this may set a precedent.
“It sets a standard,” said SCOPE Boardmember Cam Noltemeyer. “If they’re saying what they used to qualify this master plan stands, we have great concerns about how it’s going to affect the city overall…because there’s another master plan pending already.”
A separate group called Smart Growth SCV was the main voice of opposition to the plan during it's time in the City approval process, however they are not a part of this proposed litigation as they have publicly vowed to abstain from any legal action.
KHTS will report more on this breaking story as soon as information is available, and the City of Santa Clarita has been contacted.