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San Francisco | Health, Housing, and Public Services

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Express Support for Sutter/CPMC FEIR Appeal
by Rachel Ebora
Friday Jul 20th, 2012 3:10 PM
Majority of SF BOS support Sutter/CPMC EIR appeal by community and labor groups - citing numerous concerns about the healthcare corporation's plans to build a mega-hospital on Van Ness and Geary, one of the most congested sections of San Francisco; and the lack of strong assurance that St. Luke's Hospital will remain open.
On Tuesday, July 17th, after almost 11 hours of deliberations, including a significant amount of time devoted to the consideration of the appeal for Sutter/CPMC's FEIR - Supervisors Campos, Chiu, Olague, Kim, Mar and Avalos all stated their support for the appeal based on various concerns about the inadequacy of the project's impact on the City of San Francisco. Supervisor Cohen expressed her dissatisfaction with the EIR and frustration over Sutter/CPMC’s unwillingness to engage in a meaningful way to come up with an acceptable agreement.The Supervisors sent a clear message to CPMC that they are ready to uphold theappeal and send the EIR back to the Planning Department for further analyses. They also indicated that they are giving CPMC one last chance to come to the Board with an improved deal that addresses their issues on jobs, traffic, charity care, and an ironclad commitment to operating St. Luke's Hospital.
The support of the Supervisors for the appeal also provides an opportunity for Mayor Lee and CPMC to renegotiate a better Development Agreement with community stakeholders at the table -- something that didn't happen in the last round of negotiations. The appellants include San Franciscans for Healthcare, Housing, Jobs and Justice; Council of Community Housing Organizations; Jobs with Justice- SF; California Nurses Association; Cathedral Hill Neighbors Association, National Union of Healthcare Workers, and Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center.

"It's a victory for those of us who have been standing strong together as labor and community organizations who are concerned about the tremendous impact of this enormous project on the city's healthcare, housing, jobs and transit needs. We are pleased that our efforts over the last two years were affirmed by many of the Supervisors - to ensure that CPMC be rebuilt the right way, and that they expressed support for our appeal " stated Gordon Mar, coordinator for Jobs with Justice-SF.

But in the end, while many strongly supported upholding the appeal, the BOS voted for a continuance of two weeks in the hope that a structure can be agreed upon for comprehensive best effort negotiations with the project sponsor that can yield a package which truly meets the City's needs. Supervisors Campos, Mar and Olague emphasized the need to include community voices in the negotiations process; and Supervisor Campos stressed that clear parameters and timelines will need to be adhered to, and that transparency and the consideration of a third party neutral negotiator also be part of the ensuing negotiations process. Some of the strongest statements came from Supervisor Jane Kim, who repeatedly expressed that there didn't seem to be a proposal that addressed the project's goals - citing that the whole deal hinged upon a viable St. Luke's Hospital, and that the current EIR, in her opinion, did not reflect that at all.