Debate grows over plan to expand Seattle Children's Hospital

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on November 18, 2009 at 6:29 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 18 at 6:29 PM

SEATTLE - Should Seattle's Children's Hospital be allowed to triple in size?

People on all sides of the issue packed the Seattle City Council chambers to discuss the issue Wednesday.

The debate focuses on size in Seattle's upscale Laurelhurst neighborhood. The hospital wants to expand from 250 beds to 600 beds by 2030. They say there is an urgent need for more beds now.

"We've turned away 79 kids in this last year and our expectations are we will turn away 80 patients a day if we're not able to expand." according to Lisa Brandenburg of Children's Hospital.

The plan calls for the hospital to buy the Laurelon Terrace Apartment complex, tear it down and construct new, higher buildings.

"This is not an urban village where density is expected. This part of town can not take an additional 8,000 cars per day." says the president of the Laurelhurst Community Club, Jeannie Hale.

In August, the city hearing examiner ruled that other hospitals may be able to take in the kids, so Children's may not need that much space. The hospital and it's allies have appealed the ruling, so now it's in the lap of the Seattle City Council.

The council will not take public testimony and likely won't make a decision until January.

 

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