The Hospital presented their initial design to the public and the Planning Commission on Tuesday February 6, 2018. During that presentation, they asked for a number of zoning variances without proving any hardship. It was as if their position was:
“We are Spectrum/Blodgett. We get what we want. We are insensitive to the character and flavor of the surrounding neighborhoods. We know that any hardships we feel we experience are from our own doing.
However, in curing those self-inflicted wounds, we need to create true hardships for our residential
neighbors through the economic burden of a oss in property value and ability to timely sell. Never mind
that our aggressiveness will not provide any increased revenue to the City of East Grand Rapids. We want
what we want.”
The Planning Commission advised the Hospital that they needed to solicit input from the neighbors. Perhaps Spectrum Health sensed hesitation and observed an impassioned neighborhood presence, may have concluded a miscalculation in the strength of their proposal. Rightly so.
On February 8, 2018 the Our EGR website was created as a place raise public awareness and to provide information to the neighborhood and community. It is a grassroots organization, a 501c3 Corporation, and welcomes monetary contribution, your participation and support.
It appears as though the corporate guidance at Blodgett, in their eagerness to move forward, had skipped steps in the process and put the proverbial cart before the horse. In meetings and presentations with the members of Our EGR, the documents provided for review and comment appear to be well past the stage that is required by the initial steps of the approval process: a Site Plan submittal to, and review by, the Planning Commission.
It is fair to say the Hospital has nearly completed construction documents without first obtaining any healthy input from the neighbors, or even Site Plan approval from the Planning Commission and City Commissions, or accepted any healthy input from the neighbors of the Blodgett Campus. This simple single fact suggests that Spectrum Health believes this to be a predetermined acceptance by the City and will be reluctant to change any detail.
As directed by the Planning Commission, the Spectrum Health invited the members of Our EGR, other neighbors, and the East Grand Rapids community at large to informational presentations on Tuesday, February 20 and Thursday, February 22, 2018, at Blodgett. This presentation was unchanged from that which was presented to the Planning Commission on February 6. "Actions speak louder than words" and despite a stated desire to be a good neighbor, that there were no changes presented from the voices heard on the 6th, the inaction observed on the 20th and the 22th was deafening.
If you support these alternative measures please consider making a tax-deductible donation.
Checks can be made out to the Our EGR Homeowner's Association.
Our EGR Homeowner's Association is a 501(c)(3)