Advocate Christ Wants More Time To Address Village's Infrastructure Questions
Advocate Christ Medical Center is skipping Monday's Planning and Development Commission meeting while it addresses village's impact study "punch list."
Advocate Christ Medical Center has asked to be taken off the agenda for tonight’s (Monday, May 21) Planning and Development Commission.
Following the marathon PD&C meeting that went for four hours on May 7, medical center officials have asked for more time to address the village’s impact study “punch list.”
Planning commissioners voted 5-2 to continue a public hearing into Advocate Christ Medical Center’s nine zoning variance petitions for “Phase II” of the $600 million hospital campus expansion. The latest addition, if approved, is expected to be viable until 2021.
The Oak Lawn Planning and Development Commission want Advocate Christ Medical Center to vet some of its plans for a 9-story patient tower because there are still too many “unknowns” about traffic, flood control and economic impact on the village.
“The last meeting indicated the village had a lot of questions,” Pat Lyons said, director of construction and design for Advocate Healthcare. “I thought we had a pretty good package.”
Medical center officials were expected to go before the Planning and Development Commission Monday, but Lyons said that many of the village’s questions required detailed answers.
“We want to take out the heavy technical terms,” Lyons added. “We want to make sure our answers are thoughtful and provide [the village] enough time to review the answers.”
Crawford Garden residents who attended the Planning and Development Commission meeting earlier this month said they felt “blindsided” by the latest proposal.
The 9-story inpatient tower of up to 170 feet will be located on the east of the campus facing Kostner Avenue of the site of an existing parking garage. Renderings and designs for the proposed inpatient tower do not yet exist.
A new garage will be built on a lot across the street from the medical center, and connect to the patient tower by a pedestrian bridge extending over Kostner.
A similar, $200 million outpatient tower is currently under construction on the main medical center campus. Advocate Christ President Ken Lukhard also hinted at future plans to update older buildings on the campus, including Hope Children’s Hospital.
Oak Lawn Village Manager Larry Deetjen said that current plans don’t address infrastructural concerns, including the sanitary sewer system and lift station. In addition to special-use, height and setback variances, the medical center also wants to widen Kostner Avenue.
Deetjen wants Advocate to enter into a contract with the village to pay for “impacting” public facilities—both those identified and unknown but reasonable costs that could be incurred after the new phase is constructed and operational.
“In essence, Advocate must agree to mitigate by planning, constructing and financing any such results,” Deetjen said in an email.
The village manager was compiling a list of questions and concerns about some of the impact studies Advocate Christ has provided so far about the latest proposed addition to the hospital. That list, described by Deetjen as “dynamic,” was being submitted to Oak Lawn Village Board members before their next meeting on Tuesday.
The Planning and Development Commission did not believe Advocate Christ’s traffic impact studies gave an accurate picture of traffic when the addition is completed. The first traffic study did not include Keeler Avenue from 93rd Street to 95th Street. A second study did not take into account residents on the south side of 95th Street.
Lyons said that he expected Advocate Christ to provide its responses to the village as early as this week.