September 30, 2008
By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
“A judge has issued a tentative ruling calling for the Los Angeles City Council to reconsider its decision allowing a San Fernando Valley hospital to expand, handing a victory to the union activists and neighborhood groups that had criticized the project.
Superior Court Judge Thomas McKnew said the 15-member council used the wrong voting process when it approved a $180-million expansion at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, a facility that treated 17 injured passengers in the Sept. 12 Metrolink train crash in Chatsworth.
Eight of the council’s 15 members voted last November to overturn a Planning Commission decision approving the expansion. The project went forward anyway because city law requires 10 votes to reverse the commission.
In his written tentative ruling, McKnew said the council must take up the matter again. His final ruling is expected Thursday.
Roughly half the 101 new hospital beds planned under the expansion would go for emergency room patients. Still, the hospital’s proposal has run into a buzz saw of union and neighborhood politics, with the Service Employees International Union arguing that the hospital needs to do more to address the effect of its project on traffic and parking.”
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