After being caught violating their own ordinances to aid Planned Parenthood, the San Antonio City Council will vote next week to retroactively define the zoning codes for the Dreamhill Estates neighborhood so the abortion provider’s $6.5 million facility will be in compliance with city code. This comes despite outrage from neighborhood residents and the legal implications of offering a special-interest carve-out.
City officials are clearly hoping to neutralize the attendant litigation by altering the definitions at the heart of the discussion.
The scandal first began when former Senior Planner Trenton Robertson objectively applied the city’s Unified Development Code to the facility, issuing this letter stating that the facility was located in a ‘C-1’ zoning district — which only allows for a ‘Professional Office’ or ‘Laboratory Testing’ — and excludes ‘Cold Storage,’ ‘Medical Surgery Facility,’ and ‘Hospitals.’ Curiously, Mr. Robertson no longer works for the city in any capacity, and his testimony in the lawsuit of Thelma Franco vs. City of San Antonio et al detailed shocking instances of favoritism granted towards Planned Parenthood at multiple stages of the approval process.
In fact, in the deposition, Robertson states that it wasn’t the accuracy of his work that brought on admonishment from city overlords, but merely the violation of a curious edict that all questions regarding the 2140 Babcock location were required to be sent up the chain of command. It was issued so that top city officials could circumvent the law without obstruction from city staff.
Of course, that’s not the only instance of legal disobedience— as the San Antonio Family Association has pointed out—the facility also began operation without being issued a proper Certificate of Occupancy.
Such favoritism is hardly surprising considering the donations from Planned Parenthood board members to city council politicians— but the city has gone to great lengths to suck the wind out of the sails of opposed residents.
For example, when the lawsuit against the city was originally brought, Ms. Franco’s standing was challenged based on the grounds that she doesn’t live within 200 feet of the 22,000 sq. foot facility. Although if she had, the city would probably just have claimed she was a nonresident for living in a parking lot — but that’s beside the point.
The fate of the facility— and residents—had already been decided, and city officials’ weren’t going to let their own pesky rules (or residents) get in the way of what would assuredly be a heavyweight fundraising mechanism for the liberal Democrat-dominated city.
Which leads us to Dec. 10 — the date on which City Council will vote to retroactively justify their legally dubious methods used to achieve their premeditated goal in yet another brazen attempt to delegitimize the concerns of opposed residents, and undermine the rule of law.
San Antonio officials have all but proven that they do not view themselves as representatives of the people, nor are they bound by any ethical duty to serve the public interest, but are rather liberal zealots aimed at abusing their power to protect political allies at any cost, and by any means necessary.