Reasons for Exemption
The Signature Health Project was approved in March 2017. After the 2017 approval, Signature implemented several design changes that triggered the need for a Plot Plan Amendment and additional review by the MJPA Planning Department. On January 8, 2020, Signature requested an extension of time on approvals for a period of one year. On January 29, 2020, the MJPA authorized the one-year extension of time. After the extension expired, no further time extensions were requested by Signature. At this time, the Project entitlements have since expired and are no longer valid. In light of the lack of action on the Signature Project, MJPA staff began to investigate potential options for recourse.
The Signature Project is subject to a number of foundational documents, including a Grant Deed. The Grant Deed outlines certain construction-related requirements on Signature, with certain penalties applicable if Signature failed to meet its obligations. Signature Health has failed to meet their construction-related requirements as specified in Section 11 of the Grant Deed. As provided in the Grant Deed, if Signature fails to start construction or abandons construction for a period of thirty (30) days after notice has been provided by the MJPA, the MJPA has the right to reenter and take possession of the Property.
On April 24, 2023, the MJPA notice was issued via certified mail that the MJPA intended to reenter and take possession of the Property. Based on the provisions of the Grant Deed, the thirty (30) day cure period was set to end on May 24, 2023. On May 17, 2023, the MJPA received a call from Signature's legal counsel on this matter and requested a time extension regarding the thirty (30) day cure period. Given the significant length of time that has passed, the Signature Project would be subject to a new planning and environmental review process which would add a substantial amount of time to property redevelopment. Based on the aforementioned, Signature’s request for an extension was denied.
Based on the aforementioned, the Joint Powers Commission authorized the Executive Director to take any and all action necessary to confirm the MJPA’s ownership of the former Signature Healthcare Property and to begin taking steps to dispose of the Signature Healthcare Property in compliance with the Surplus Property Act. The proposed Project is consistent with this exemption and therefore, no further action is required under CEQA (Section 15061, (b)(3) of the State CEQA Guidelines)