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Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Creative Construction

Zoning used in defense of morality- Creative Construction

Zoning and controls can make construction and development very difficult. In an article from Economist.com, the author suggests a circumstance where zoning could be used to hinder construction of a Planned Parenthood building in Aurora, Illinois.

Aurora’s battle nominally centered on a permit and how Planned Parenthood obtained it… When Planned Parenthood applied for permits in Aurora last year, it used the name Gemini Office Development, a subsidiary, hoping to keep the project quiet for as long as possible. When pro-life activists learned of the building’s true purpose in July, they were furious, claiming that Planned Parenthood had committed fraud… The lawyers found no wrongdoing, however, so the clinic opened just two weeks late.

The construction of the building has caused controversy, not because of where it is being built, but because of the types of services and procedures that it provides. The most controversial procedure offered by the clinic being abortion. The controversy in Illinois is not the first and certainly will not be the last for Planned Parenthood. In 2003 a similar situation arose in Austin, Texas. The main contractor pulled out and after boycotts from many subcontractors, and Planned Parenthood stepped in to assume the contractors role. The same problems may arise in Denver where another Planned Parenthood is scheduled to start construction in November.

Although the question of zoning has not been raised in the battle in Aurora, Illinois it has been used to deter and to prevent businesses to be built where they were initially planned. Fortunately, for the Planned Parenthood in Aurora the area is zoned for medical use, and can not be barred from being built based on zoning requirements. Zoning regulations seem to hinder development in many areas, but are put in place to enhance, or help guide the direction of growth and economic development. The case of Planned Parenthood wanting to move in seems to be a classic example of how zoning laws and regulations may be used to help certain parties while they hinder others. Whether or not it is fair seems to be subjective based on whether you win or lose.

Source: http://www.economist .com/world/na/PrinterFriendly.cfm?story_id=9946963

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