University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health’s Cancellation of Planning Commission Hearing at the City of Havre de Grace
For Immediate Release
On Monday morning April 9, 2018, the City of Havre de Grace was informed by Counsel representing University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health (UCH) that UCH was formally withdrawing their application for Site Plan approval of the proposed Freestanding Medical Facility and Psychiatric Hospital on Bulle Rock Parkway south of MD Route 155. Both the Administration and Planning Department staff were surprised at the last minute cancellation, in light of the efforts put forth by the City in expediting a hearing to meet the timeline proposed by UCH.
As community leaders, our obligation is to seek the best solutions and outcomes for our residents and business community. From the City’s perspective, the preferred outcome of this project is the construction of a full service General Hospital that will continue UCH’s tradition of serving the City of Havre de Grace and the surrounding region, as originally promised by UCH. We also recognize that the UCH Vision 2020 plan no longer supports a full service General Hospital for Havre de Grace.
The City subsequently required the submission of a revised Site Plan to be reviewed through the Planning Commission to account for the change of use to a Freestanding Medical Facility and Special Psychiatric Hospital, and the material changes to the site plan as result of the change of use. Department of Planning and Public Works staff have worked diligently to review the revised Site Plan, which included the Free Standing Medical Facility and Special Psychiatric Hospital.
When UCH sought a very aggressive timeline, which included having their application heard before the Planning Commission on Monday night, April 9th, we agreed to meet their requirements and worked diligently toward that goal. In the spirit of cooperation, our professional staff met with representatives from UCH’s development team several times in the preceding weeks to offer comments and suggestions on the revised Site Plan to ensure that the requirements of the Zoning Code were met prior to UCH’s formal submission. City staff characterized the meetings as collaborative and productive in nature and vital to ensuring that UCH’s timeline could be achieved.
The Mayor and a majority of Council members have continued to support a policy position of seeking a small full service general hospital to serve our citizens. At no point has this policy infringed upon the City’s commitment to UCH’s timeline or our obligation to review and forward recommendations to the Planning Commission in a timely manner. We have received great cooperation from UCH’s representatives in our recent meetings, with City staff believing that all open concerns and questions had been resolved or answered. We were fully prepared for a positive and productive hearing before the Planning Commission on Monday night, with the ability for the public to participate in an open forum.
This administration continues to stand ready and willing to work together with UCH toward the goal of receiving Site Plan approval for their current proposal. We invite UCH to rejoin us at the table to continue working collaboratively towards meeting the medical needs of the City of Havre de Grace and the adjoining regions of Harford and Cecil County.
Administration ~ City of Havre de Grace