- Among the proposals in the St. Luke's Master Plan are a new hospital tower, expanded children's hospital and multiple office complexes.
Anyone planning to attend or participate in the much-anticipated public hearing on the proposed massive expansion of St. Luke's Health System better plan on settling in for a long night Tuesday, June 30 at Boise City Hall.
Controversy gained steam earlier this year when neighbors argued against the hospital's plan to permanently close a portion of Jefferson Street, which resulted in the Boise Planning and Zoning Commission rejecting the master plan in a 6-1 vote on Feb. 9. Instead of going back to the drawing board, St. Luke's doubled down, launching a full-throated public relations campaign that included a heart-tugging video featuring the parents of a baby born prematurely at St. Luke's. Within days, the hospital posted on its website that it might transfer some critical services to Meridian if its master plan was not approved.
Even Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, whose own wife works for St. Luke's, said the hospital's pushback against criticism was heavy-handed.
"I thought the public relations on this was awful, just awful," said Bieter. "People don't respond well to ultimatums."
The June 30 public hearing will include:
- 15 minutes for a presentation from city staff;
- 30 minutes for a presentation from St. Luke's;
- 30 minutes for a presentation from the East End Neighborhood Association;
- 15 minutes for a presentation from the North End Neighborhood Association;
- 15 minutes from the Downtown Boise Neighborhood Association;
- Individual citizen testimony, with three minutes allotted for each person;
- Five minutes for rebuttal remarks from St. Luke's.