by Steven Ertelt
September 26, 2007
Aurora, IL (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life advocates are using another new tactic in their efforts to stop a new Planned Parenthood abortion center from opening in this northern Illinois city. An attorney has discovered that the abortion business may have failed to obtain a special use permit and hold a public hearing on how it would use the new facility.
Aurora-based lawyer Vincent Tessitore has talked with city officials about his analysis of city zoning codes.
Tessitore found that one section appears to mandate a special permit for health facilities that aren’t operated by non-profit groups.
While Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area is a non-profit organization, the group applied for and obtained the permits for constructing the new abortion business under the name Gemini Office Development, a for-profit corporation.
As a result, notification of the new abortion business should have been sent to all business owners within 250 feet of the new center, a public hearing should have been held and the city council should have signed off on the special use document.
According to a Beacon News report, if 20 percent of more of the surrounding business owners objected to the special use permit, a supermajority of nine of the 12 members of the council would be needed to approve it.
Ed Sieben, Aurora’s director of land use and zoning, told the newspaper that Tessitore reminded him of the section of code and that he is looking into it.
"He brought up that section of the zoning code," Sieben said, "and I said it was of interest, and we would review it with the law department."
Steve Trombley, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area, told The Beacon News that he was unfamiliar with this section of city law.
"We have no idea what he’s talking about," Trombley said.
But Alderman Rick Lawrence told the newspaper that the discovery is important and sheds light on why Planned Parenthood came to the city under the name Gemini Office Development because a public hearing on Planned Parenthood’s name would have resulted in public opposition.
Meanwhile, Kane County State’s Attorney John Barsanti is finishing his review of two investigations into the approval process and is expected to release his findings on Friday.