Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Planned Parenthood battles zoning on Babcock

News, pp

The newest Planned Parenthood of South Texas facility has begun operations on 2140 Babcock Road.

Protestors, including both residents and organizations like the San Antonio Family Association (SAFA), have attempted to use TRAP laws in order to prevent the facility’s continued operations.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, TRAP laws, which stand for Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers ,are laws that single out abortion providers for “medically unnecessary, politically motivated state regulations.”

Protestors are arguing that the city isn’t enforcing zoning codes for the ambulatory surgical center classified as C­1. The City of San Antonio records indicate the building is a non­conforming structure in C­1 since it was developed prior to the 2001 Unified Development Code (UDC) requirements.

In 2014 the property owners, Delantero Investors, Ltd., applied for building permits related to renovation work. The city was informed the building would be used as a ambulatory care facility. Delantero submitted plans that showed medical offices with outpatient surgical capabilities which is a permissible use of property in the C­1 zoning district.

The San Antonio Development Services Department (DSD) reviewed and approved the permits in August 2014.

In December 2014, Thelma Franco, a resident of nearby neighborhood, Dreamland Estates, filed an appeal that the building did not comply with zoning regulations. The city rejected the appeal because it wasn’t filed within thirty days of the administrative official’s decision that determined the validity of the zoning.

Ms. Franco then sued the city, asking the court to order the city to accept her appeal and to interpret the Development Code in a manner that would have required DSD to deny Delantero’s permit. The lawsuit has since been dropped.

The Director of Communications for Planned Parenthood Mara Posada said, “At every step of this construction project we have worked with experienced professionals to ensure that we are complying with all applicable rules and regulations.”

According the District 8 City Councilman Ron Nirenberg, “This is a private property rights issue, not a zoning case.” He continued to say, “Their claim that the use of the property is illegal is false.”

As of right now, the facility will maintain operations. Posada said, “Our new home is a physical expression of our commitment to protect the health and safety of women.”

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