Modesto Planning Commission Approves Kaiser Permanente’s Hospital Plan
During a six-hour meeting, the Modesto Planning Commission on Tuesday voted 4-0 to approve Kaiser Permanente's plan to build a 49-acre medical campus that would cost $500 million, include 250 beds and serve 130,000 Kaiser members in Stanislaus and southern San Joaquin counties, the Modesto Bee reports. The campus would generate nearly 25,000 additional vehicle trips each day in "an area noted for its clogged roads," the Bee reports. However, Alita Roberts, the commission's chair, said before the vote that Kaiser had sufficiently addressed the traffic problems its campus would create.
Kaiser anticipates that Stanislaus County will ask the HMO to contribute $25 million to create additional traffic lanes and install more traffic signals, among other improvements. Kaiser also has reconfigured the arrangement of buildings on the site to address neighbors' concerns. Three commissioners recused themselves from the meeting because they said their business dealings with Kaiser or its competitors created a conflict of interest.
Kaiser officials hope to begin construction on the campus this fall and to open the hospital by early 2008. The Modesto City Council first must approve a request for re-zoning, development and annexation; a hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 10. Kaiser also must reach an agreement with Stanislaus County for the amount of required fees and receive approval of the annexation from the Local Agency Formation Commission. LAFCO could consider the proposal Sept. 22 if the plan receives city council approval (Carlson, Modesto Bee, 7/21).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.