It Ain’t Over till It’s Over; Glitches in approval of Planned Parenthood Clinic in Redwood City

By Dave Andrusko

It looked like a done deal, but perhaps not. On May 20 Planned Parenthood received a permit from the Redwood City planning department to operate an abortion clinic in the California city. But yesterday the planning department notified Planned Parenthood its permit had been amended.

According to the Palo Alto Daily News, as part of the approval process, the city had required that the clinic have at least 27 parking spots for patients and staff. The site itself can accommodate only 18 parking spaces.

Having learned from Planned Parenthood (after the permit was granted) that the nearby Enterprise Rent-A-Car may be having “second thoughts” about providing the last nine spaces, the city now wanted a letter from Enterprise affirming that the car rental business across the street from the proposed clinic was still willing to make the spaces available.

In an email to the Daily News, Laura Bryant, a spokeswoman for the St. Louis-based Enterprise, said that the contract “is not executable because it does not have all the necessary signatures.” According to the Daily News, “She did not elaborate or say whether there may be other reasons the company is backing out of the arrangement.”

Local pro-lifers took credit, saying they had told the company they would picket if they provided the nine spaces.

There are two other angles to the story. Michelle Tangunan, an associate planner who oversaw the clinic application, told the newspaper the city is “open to considering alternative off-site parking arrangements that Planned Parenthood might come up with if Enterprise pulls out.”

Meanwhile the city is also reviewing an appeal of the decision to approve Planned Parenthood’s use permit, an appeal that was filed May 27.

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