South Fayette officials table proposed UPMC hospital pending more study
April 20, 2017 12:10 AM
By Deana Carpenter
After about four hours of public comment, discussion and presentations from developers proposing a hospital in South Fayette, commissioners voted to continue Wednesday’s public hearing to receive more information on the conditional-use application.
At Wednesday night’s hearing, Brett Malky, president of Newbury, said UPMC would “create a world class health care facility” on the site.
“They’re going to invest over $100 million in this community,” Mr. Malky said.
Several other residents spoke both for and against the proposal.
“It will bring so much opportunity to the township,” said Jennifer Crouse, adding that jobs and increased property values could come from the development.
Kelly Smith presented 30 letters from residents who were unable to come to the meeting but supported UPMC at Newbury.
Katelyn Duchardt said of having UPMC in the township, “This is really a no-brainer.” She urged the commissioners to vote yes on the matter.
Resident Ken Moeslein was opposed, saying, “Newbury is no longer the neighborhood we thought it was going to be,” referring to former plans that would have placed a grocery store and big box retail at the site.
He added he was concerned about emergency vehicles going to the hospital and “thousands of additional cars on Presto Sygan Road.”
Resident Lisa Schultz was also against UPMC at Newbury.
“This township and our residents need more tax-paying properties. We do not need another hospital,” Ms. Schultz said.
Gregory Peaslee, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of UPMC, said a hospital is warranted in the area.
“Today we have 500 people who travel from the South Hills region to receive medical care at UPMC hospitals,” Mr. Peaslee said.
Mr. Peaslee said a large component of the project would be taxable, generating up to $450,000 a year in taxes. He said UPMC’s Children’s Hospital facility in South Fayette generates more than $300,000 a year in tax dollars.
Roger Altmeyer, director of community project development for UPMC, said programming was “still very much in flux,’’ but did point out, “It will be a hospital in the traditional sense.”
He said the facility would be smaller than UPMC East in Monroeville and would not be a trauma center, but would possibly have a helipad.
After the public hearing, township solicitor Jonathan Kamin said commissioners had several significant questions for the developer.
“What is the economic impact to the township?” Mr. Kamin said. He added that the township would like to know what demands would be placed on township services and the overall impact of the proposed hospital.
Mr. Kamin asked to have independent third-party economist, Fourth Economy, do a study on the proposed development.
“I think the board would like to have some answers and facts,” Mr. Kamin said.
The developer would be responsible for paying for the study.
After a private discussion with counsel, Newbury agreed to the study, which will take about seven weeks to complete. Then the issue will be back on commissioners’ agenda.
Additionally at the meeting, site and subdivision plans for Top Golf were approved at the Newbury site.
The facility would be a three-level, 102-bay driving range.
The Dallas-based golf and entertainment center has about 28 facilities open in the United States and has nine under construction this year.
The 65,000-square-foot facility would be the only Top Golf in Pennsylvania.
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