Council to weigh hospital expansion proposal

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. Dan Watson/The Signal

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital will present to the Santa Clarita City Council Tuesday its request to expand hospital facilities by 200,000 square feet. Planning commissioners unanimously approved the expansion in March.  

The hospital’s request includes a second inpatient tower with 115,700 square feet in floor area to the immediate north of the main hospital building in parking lot D. 

Inside, the new five-story tower would house 92 inpatient beds, moved there from the main hospital building.  

The migration of beds would open space for “offices, administrative space, procedure rooms, storage space, imaging services, waiting areas and physical therapy services” in the main hospital building and the existing diagnostics and treatment facility, according to a city staff report on the expansion.   

Henry Mayo has also requested a new 60-foot-tall diagnostics and treatment facility with 84,300 square feet in floor area to stand next to the proposed second inpatient building.   

Parking is also part of the hospital’s expansion proposal. If approved by the council, Henry Mayo will add three above-ground stories to an existing parking structure at the intersection of McBean Parkway and Orchard Village Road to increase the number of parking spaces by nearly 300. The expansion also proposes potential parking reduction measures, like paid parking.   

As part of their review, council members will also consider the Planning Commission’s comments to add more mature landscaping, including 36-inch trees and three 48-inch trees, along the parking structure and hospital entrance at McBean Parkway and Orchard Village Road. 

The expansion is expected to have a “less than significant” impact on traffic, according the city’s April report on the proposed expansion. The city has proposed modifications to light timing at Orchard Village and Wiley Canyon and a reconfiguration of the McBean and Orchard Village intersection to help reduce the traffic impact.  

A draft supplemental environmental impact report also proposes measures to reduce on-site construction noise, which the report calls “significant.” 

In January and March, several members of the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, a local trade union, requested planning commissioners include union labor in their approval of the amendments to the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Specific Plan, Master Plan and Development Agreement. 

The amendments, which would make the expansion possible, cannot include the type of request being made by the union carpenters, according to a city staff report. 

“The city has no legal mechanism to require project applicants to work with specific labor organizations,” David Peterson, a city associate planner, told The Signal. 

Union carpenters voiced their request at the March 23 City Council meeting and have held an ongoing protest on the northwest corner of McBean Parkway and Orchard Village Road. 

The public can listen to Tuesday’s council meeting on the city’s website. 

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