shrubs.jpgI had lengthy conversations yesterday with pro-life IL attorneys Peter Breen and Vince Tessitore about the Aurora Planned Parenthood zoning appeal situation….

They have both spent a significant amount of time on this key plan to shut down PP Aurora, for which we are all grateful.
In fact and coincidentally, when I spoke in Charlottesville, VA, earlier this month, I connected with pro-life attorney Mike Sharmon, who has overseen that city’s successful legal effort to shut down its PP for zoning violations, and he said Peter had called him that very day.
(The Charlottesville PP is still open, despite 5, yes FIVE, straight court losses for PP and zero wins, because the county thus far has not acted on the court decision.)
So here’s the update on our zoning appeal.
First, our side has located a high profile law firm willing to take our case that specializes in zoning litigation. But the cost will run somewhere between $180-360k, and the firm requires 30% down. Money is the hold-up. If you want to donate to this endeavor that could realistically shut down PP Aurora while sending a shock through the industry, please email me.
We have already discussed two planks of the zoning appeal:
1. PP used a for-profit front corporation to construct a building actually owned by a nonprofit, for which there are different zoning rules and for which a special use permit was required.
2. PP’s front company, Gemini Office Development, lied on five separate permit applications and in response to a direct question from a city alderman in an open hearing about PP being the intended occupant. (This fraud was not without consequences. Had Aurora known this was to be PP’s largest U.S. mill, it would certainly have made PP install sidewalks, particularly for poor patrons who have to get there by mass transit or on foot. And Aurora certainly would have moved PP’s entrance from the busy Dominick’s mall thoroughfare to the better prepared Oakhurst St. Etc., etc., etc.)
b-2%20bomb.jpgBut here’s a third, a B-2 bomb, if you will.
3. PP’s plans were designed according to the wrong building code. The plans were for B-2 zoning (general retail) when they should have been for B-B zoning (business boulevard district). This means, for example, the PP building should have been set back from the lot line 35 feet, when it is currently set back about 25 feet. And PP’s parking lot was calculated by the wrong multipliers. Instead of its current 71 parking spaces, it should have 90+. Etc., etc., etc.
These are three strong, valid arguments to revoke PP’s permits and oust it. The plan is try to work through Aurora’s Zoning Board of Appeals but continue on to sue PP in court if need be.
It is time for big donors to step up to the plate. The other side has billionaires willing to invest in their cause. We have are own millionaires if not billionaires that need to step up, too. And this would be a great investment. Read more details on the tenets of the zoning appeal here.
[Photo, top right, courtesy of Families Against Planned Parenthood, is of shrubs being planted at the PP Aurora mill Monday. Were they planted according to code? Which code? What about the illegal fencing you can barely see on the right side of the photo barricading the public parkway? When will Aurora remove that?]

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