Tomorrow at 7 p.m. at City Hall, our case before the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) will advance another important step forward. The ZBA will consider our “Motion to Complete the Record.” By means of this motion, our attorneys are seeking to ensure two things:
- That city officials disclose all documents relevant to our appeal.
- That all relevant documents are included in the record.
You see, we’ve had some difficulty getting city officials to cooperate as we’ve been putting together our case. They have refused to make copies of certain documents, demanded our attorneys examine documents with a city employee present, as if we can’t be trusted, and ordered city staff not to answer our questions. What’s more, the city’s lawyer, Alayne Weingartz, is trying to keep certain critical documents out of the record—including, amazingly, the Luetkehans Report! That’s right—Alayne Weingartz doesn’t want the ZBA to look at the very report the mayor says he relied upon when he insisted that Planned Parenthood does not need a special use permit and declared that certain late-term abortions could not be performed there. Why doesn’t she want the ZBA to look at the Luetkehans Report? Because she’s trying to tell the ZBA that the last time city officials made any zoning determination was months before we submitted our appeal on October 2—and therefore our appeal is “untimely.” The Luetkehans Report shows quite clearly that the decision to issue an occupancy permit to Planned Parenthood on October 1 was a zoning decision. So Weingartz wants to keep that document out of the record. Weingartz filed a “Motion to Dismiss” with the ZBA prior to the last hearing, arguing not only that our appeal is untimely, but that the ZBA doesn’t even have jurisdiction over the zoning questions we’re raising. Of course, her motion is absurd, and we expect the good citizens to sit on the ZBA to reject it, but our attorneys were prevented from submitting a response to her Motion to Dismiss because of this dispute over the record—in other words, what documents should and shouldn’t be considered by the ZBA. If all goes well tomorrow, the ZBA will rule to include all the relevant documents in the official record of this proceeding. Our attorneys will then submit, by December 24, a response to Weingartz’s Motion to Dismiss. And then on January 7, the ZBA will hear arguments and rule on the Motion to Dismiss.
Our presence at the ZBA hearing is crucial
One of the key factors making this an open and fair process is our continued presence at these hearings. At the first ZBA hearing on November 28, the 100 pro-lifers wearing carnations had a powerful impact not only on the ZBA itself, but on all the attorneys—especially our legal team of Peter Breen, Rich Baker and Tom Brejcha. Please come the the hearing Wednesday, December 12, at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 44 E. Downer Place in Aurora (map). Everyone who attends will receive a free Planned Parenthood Lies to You button like the one pictured here. But if you can’t make it, visit this blog for live reports tomorrow evening.