Seattle Children’s Effort to Expand Hits Snag

In a major setback for Seattle Children’s Hospital, a city hearing examiner has ruled expansion plans would bring out-of-scale buildings and too much traffic to a residential neighborhood. The hospital says it could be forced to move out of the city.

The ruling is a victory for the Laurelhurst Community Club. The neighborhood, about a mile east of the University of Washington, has been fighting Children’s Hospital for the past two years, through more than 26 public hearings.

“We were looking for a compromise. That’s all we ask. We love Children’s Hospital,” said Jeannie Hale, the community club president. “All we wanted was a scaled back plan.”

Children’s says it needs to more than double its square footage over the next 20 years. Chief Administrative Officer Lisa Brandenburg said, it’s all about inpatient hospital beds – which have already maxed out. “In what is normally a slow period of time for us, we have been at or near capacity for the last three weeks. And we’ve had that consistently for the last two years, where we are very full,” she said.

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Posted August 13, 2009

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