In an exciting development, our crack team of attorneys filed a motion today that could have very far reaching consequences. Before I can explain exactly what has happened, a little legal background will be helpful. First, in the current Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) hearing, our attorneys are arguing that, when the city issued a permit for Planned Parenthood in October despite all the evidence that PP should not occupy that property, they made an inaccurate zoning determination. When a property has been understood as improperly zoned, it is illegal under the City’s own code to issue any further occupancy permits. Second, when the zoning of a property is under legal question, as PP’s is in the current ZBA hearing, there is a stay placed on the issuance of any further permits. That is to say, if your building is under investigation for zoning impropriety and your occupancy permit expires, the city may not issue a new permit until the zoning questions are resolved. So, that brings us up to speed on the legalese. Here’s where it gets interesting. We had previously assumed that PP had a full fledged permanent occupancy permit. It came to light last week that they were still operating on a temporary occupancy permit, one that was set to expire on Monday, December 17th! Curious little creatures that we are, we asked the city for any permits currently active on the PP property just to get a clear grasp of what we were dealing with. What we got back surprised us. The city sent us a permit that was issued on October 1st 2007 and expired July 1st 2008. Recall that we had seen a permit that was issued October 1st and expired December 17th! It seems that the city backdated this permit to cover PP’s operation, acting as if it had been this way all along. Now, recalling the legalese we talked about earlier, this permit is illegal for three reasons:
- It is a back-dated permit that has a false date on it. No permit for PP was issued on October 1st 2007 that expires July 2008.
- It is illegal for this permit to be issued as the city has, by their actions, essentially admitted that the property PP’s building sits on is improperly zoned.
- It is illegal for the city to issue any permits for any property whose zoning is under appeal before the ZBA.
This back-dated permit clearly seems to be the city’s attempt at saying that they aren’t issuing any new permits on the disputed property, but that’s exactly what they are doing and that ‘s exactly what our attorneys are going to prove. A motion was filed today to have Planned Parenthood’s illegal temporary occupancy permit revoked. This motion will be discussed at the ZBA hearing on January 7th, 2008. Also at that meeting, the city’s motion to dismiss the case and our motion to subpoena city employees and outside counsel will be discussed. That will be an exciting meeting, mark your calenders now! As always, pray that God will move the hearts of the ZBA members, Alayne Weingartz, the Mayor, and any other officials that have sway over this process to find the truth of the matter and right the wrongs PP’s deception has caused. Lord Have Mercy!