Times-Picayune: "Planning Commission to hold forum on hospitals: Panel urged to join debate though it lacks jurisdiction"
The City Planning Commission will hold a public meeting May 28 on plans for new Veterans Affairs and Louisiana State University hospitals in New Orleans. The session will begin at 4 p.m. in the City Council chamber at City Hall and is expected to run several hours.
The meeting is being termed a "special forum" rather than a public hearing because the commission has nothing on its agenda requiring action related to plans for the two hospitals. Commission leaders said the panel has no jurisdiction over the projects.
However, critics of plans to locate the hospitals in Mid-City have called upon the commission for months to get involved in the debate over where they should be built, and some City Council members eventually said they also thought the commission should hold a meeting on the issue.
Critics have called for renovating Charity Hospital, closed since Hurricane Katrina, instead of demolishing several blocks of Mid-City buildings to create a campus for a new state teaching hospital.
Planning Director Yolanda Rodriguez said she expects VA and LSU officials to make presentations on their plans at the meeting. She said information gathered at the meeting will be reviewed by those writing the city's new master plan and zoning ordinance.
Original Article: "Planning Commission to hold forum on hospitals: Panel urged to join debate though it lacks jurisdiction"
Wednesday, May 13, 2009