Case Studies & Examples / Healthcare

“City’s Approval of a Hospital Expansion Project Did Not Violate CEQA or Local Ordinances”

July 29, 2011

By Andrea A. Matarazzo

“The Second District Court of Appeal recently upheld approval of expansion plans for the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.  The City of Santa Clarita (“City”) approved a Master Plan to expand the hospital and medical office building facilities on the existing hospital campus.  Santa Clarita Organization for Planning the Environment (“SCOPE”) challenged the City’s actions, arguing that (1) the City failed to support its conclusions regarding the lack of feasible measures to mitigate the project’s impact on climate change; and (2) the City failed to support its findings as to adverse effects on adjacent residents and neighborhood character.

SCOPE argued that “[n]either the record nor the EIR contain a scintilla of evidence or analysis to support the conclusion that more could not be done to reduce or mitigate the Project’s contribution to global warming.”  SCOPE had submitted “a list of potential mitigation measures developed by the Office of Attorney General,” and the group argued that the City’s response to these suggested mitigation measures was “inadequate.”  SCOPE also challenged the City’s finding that the Master Plan did not adversely affect the health and welfare of neighboring residents.  According to SCOPE, the finding was “dishonest” because the City improperly “weigh[ed] the impact to the residents against the alleged overall benefit to the community.””

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