Abortion Debate
5:38 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Former Tiller Clinic Will Not Be Rezoned

The Metropolitan Area Planning Commission voted 6-4 Thursday against moving forward with a rezoning request regarding the former Tiller clinic in east Wichita. The vote came after more than an hour of discussion.

David Gittrick of Kansans for Life addresses the Wichita Metropolitan Planning Commission Thursday.
David Gittrick of Kansans for Life addresses the Wichita Metropolitan Planning Commission Thursday.
Credit Carla Eckels / KMUW

Commissioner Chuck Warren asked his colleagues where they draw the line between how the clinic will affect the neighborhood and protecting the private property rights of a business owner.

Warren told the Commission he thought they should explore options with a public hearing, which the commissioners voted down.

Julie Burkhart, owner of the South Wind Women's Center, said she thought the decision to deny the rezoning request was spot on.

"We're very happy by that," she said.

"We bought that property with the intent to re-establish a medical facility there and that's what we intend to do."

David Gittrich with the pro-life group Kansans for Life told the Commission residents in the area do not want the new clinic in the neighborhood. He said he was concerned for the safety of all involved.

Gittrich brought along his petition forms with more than 14,000 signatures of citizens in favor of the rezoning. He said he will have to see if taxpayers will accept the Planning Commission's decision, and is considering his next move.

"We're going to see if the place is actually going to open," he said.

"It's got a ways to go. It's got to get some permits. We're going to be visiting with the members of the City Council to see if they want to do anything. So, we are going to have to see how things go in the next few weeks."

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