Last night the Elk Grove community heard more about a proposed hospital planned for the Stone Lake of Elk Grove. The entire meeting can be seen at the You Tube link below. Elk Grove Laguna Forums live streamed the meeting in two parts
District 1 city councilmember Darren Suen hosted the meeting at the Sacramento Asian Sports Foundation in Laguna West. Members of the city of Elk Grove planning staff and representatives of California Northstate University, the owner of the proposed hospital were there to speak to the community. Suen put together the meeting to allow city staff to discuss the application process in light of many comments on social media regarding the proposed hospital and allow CNU to present their proposal.
City of Elk Grove staff were represented by Darren Wilson, Antonio Ablog and Darrel Doan. Representing CNU were Dr. Alvin Cheung, former Elk Grove Mayor and now CNU consultant Gary Davis and legal counsel Paul Wagstaff.
Elk Grove planning staff discussed how the planning application process works and the steps necessary. They said this project is still in its infancy and they do not yet have a completed application. CNU submitted an application on December 18, 2018, but staff returned it, saying that it was incomplete. Staff also said that the project would require a full environmental analysis. That would include traffic, potential issues with the nearby Stonelake Wildlife Refuge and more. During the application process, other agencies, such as the Elk Grove Police Department, Cosumnes Fire Department, and Sacramento County will be commenting during the various steps. The applicant, CNU, will then have to respond to those comments and questions. They also assured the community that the public would also have an opportunity to respond as well during the application time period. It is estimated the application process could take 12-18 months, if not longer. The proposed hospital would also need to satisfy state and federal regulations as well, likely pushing the process out even further.
Gary Davis made a short presentation on behalf of CNU, outlining the proposal. Davis said the project would be done in three phases, with phase 1 being the constructions of the hospital itself, as well as some parking.
After the presentation, Suen took written questions from the audience. Suen then directed the question to either the city staff or CNU representatives.
The meeting at time became a little heated as angry residents were not happy with the answers or how the questions were asked by Suen. At times members of the audience shouted questions and voiced their displeasure.
Questions included a timeline for phase 2 & 3. Davis said there is no timeline yet. How would the hospital be paid for, who are the investors and are they foreign investors, what experience does CNU have building a hospital? Davis and Cheung took turns responding to the questions.
One of the more intriguing questions came up when CNU was asked about a neighboring vacant parcel that recently sold. The address is north of Elk Grove Blvd at 2410 Maritime Drive. Paul Wagstaff replied that the university recently closed on the purchase. When asked what the plans are for the land, Wagstaff said they had no plans. When asked if the university has any plans to buy more land in the area, Wagstaff replied they had no comment on that, which drew groans from the audience.
After the meeting Dr. Cheung issued the following statement:
“We appreciate the efforts of the City Council and City Staff and thank them for organizing this informational community meeting. We are in the beginning stages of reaching out to the community and will continue to seek positive discussion and feedback.”