UPMC's plan to build hospital in Pleasant Hills would 'destroy' the neighborhood, opponents say
January 29, 2016 9:33 AM
By Kris B. Mamula / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Opponents of UPMC’s plans to build a 300,000-square-foot hospital on an 80-acre site off Route 51 in Pleasant Hills say the building would “fundamentally destroy the fabric of a residential neighborhood.”
In a statement by Downtown attorney Jonathan Marcus, from the Downtown firm of Marcus & Shapira LLP, opponents of the project also said the hospital would duplicate the services of Allegheny Health Network’s Jefferson Hospital, which is less than a mile away. Jefferson is offering help to individual objectors and “residents are appreciative that they are not facing the threat to their residential neighborhood alone,” according to the statement by Mr. Marcus, which was released Thursday.
Mr. Marcus declined to comment beyond the statement. Separately, Jefferson Hospital CEO Louise Urban welcomed opponents “who wish to be represented with us in voicing opposition to UPMC’s plans,” according to a prepared statement. Jefferson’s attorneys were “approached by dozens of objectors seeking representation.”
“Some objectors may choose to pay their own legal expenses or retain separate counsel, but they should know Jefferson Hospital stands with the residents of Pleasant Hills.
UPMC spokesman Paul Wood said the hospital system had support to build the facility.
“UPMC has a groundswell of support from the community to establish a world class hospital to serve patients in the Route 51 corridor,” he said.
UPMC has challenged the borough’s land use zoning code because it does not contain provisions for a hospital use. Land use ordinances that exclude particular uses have generally been rejected by court decisions. Zoning approval is a first step in getting the project off the ground and a hearing on the issue is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 9 at Pleasant Hills Middle School.
Kris B. Mamula: email@example.com, 412-263-1699.
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