We learned late yesterday that the Hearing Examiner for the City of Seattle recommended that the City Council deny Seattle Children’s MIMP. We were obviously surprised and are concerned by the Hearing Examiner’s decision. While much of the plan was found to be adequate, she recommended against approval of the MIMP based on what she described as “balancing” issues. These issues included the project not being within an urban village and potential traffic impacts. Both the Department of Planning and Development and the Citizen’s Advisory Committee approved the MIMP and testified along with us to its merits at two Hearing Examiner proceedings.
Our position and rationale for expansion has not changed. We feel we have gone above and beyond what is required in meeting neighborhood concerns and addressing both traffic and housing impacts. From a legal standpoint, we do not believe the City’s code is in conflict with our expansion plan. The pressing need for beds remains as we continue to face high census rates in the hospital. If we are unable to proceed in timely manner, this jeopardizes our ability to care for children in Seattle and our region. It is our responsibility to consider all options, including relocation of our hospital outside the City of Seattle.
We will evaluate our next steps in this process and keep you informed as more information becomes available. Ultimately, I believe we will find a solution that will allow us to continue to deliver on our mission and promise to the community.
Dr. Tom Hansen
Chief Executive Officer
Seattle Children's Hospital