LCC has requested that the City correct the non-compliant application process for Seattle Children’s Hospital Phase 3 development.

At the November 18 Standing Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting of the Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH), there was confusion about the role and opportunity of SAC members to give meaningful input to the design review process. LCC, and neighbors who attended virtually, realized that something was out of order in the way the process has been conducted to date.

When the original plans to develop the SCH site were approved in 2010 by Seattle City Council (after they were denied by the Hearing Examiner), the City Council placed certain “Conditions” (rules) upon the process as Seattle Children’s Hospital would develop its approved phases over the life of their Major Institution Master Plan (MIMP).

One of them is Condition 15, which requires that SCH have a Standing Advisory Committee to examine and recommend its comments BEFORE SCH applies to build any phase through the City’s SDCI application process. This sequence is identical to many other Major Institutions, such as Seattle University, to allow the SAC to weigh in with comments for early design guidance for phases developed by the institution.

LCC discovered that SCH did no present its plans to the SAC for this early comment opportunity before filing for permits. Instead, SCH filed with SDCI for a MUP application in early July without a meeting or any real comment opportunity from the SAC or LCC, as required by the LCC/SCH Settlement Agreement. In fact, the first official SAC meeting was on August 31, almost two months after the plans were filed at SDCI. In addition, hundreds of pages of EIS Addendum technical materials about the Phase 3 plans were unavailable to SAC members until just seven hours before they met, which severely limited their opportunity to examine them and provide meaningful comments.

On November 25, LCC wrote a letter to the head of SCI requesting him to rectify the process, which would allow the SAC to submit its comments first, after which SCH could incorporate them into its plans. After that, SCH would re-apply for the MUP permits to SDCI.

The goal of LCC is to allow SCH to build out what they medically need, but also protect the livability of surrounding residential neighborhoods and maintain the vitality of nearby small businesses and medical practices.

The next SAC meeting is scheduled for December 8, 2020 at 6 p.m. Its members look forward to a meaningful opportunity to comment on the SCH Phase 3 plans at that time to achieve the goals under the Conditions set forth by the City when the MIMP was approved.