Fontana City Council passes urgency ordinance which halts approval process for Planned Parenthood facility | News

During a special meeting on Sept. 5, the Fontana City Council passed an urgency ordinance which effectively halted the approval process for a proposed Planned Parenthood facility in Fontana.

The vote was 4-1, with City Councilmember Jesse Sandoval in opposition.

Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties wants to establish a new clinic on the northeast corner of Sierra and San Bernardino avenues.

The project has created much controversy. Back in June, hundreds of people marched through city streets to voice their disapproval of Planned Parenthood because it provides abortion services.

The City Council’s vote extended a previously-implemented 45-day moratorium on certain business activity.

The city said the new moratorium will last for an additional 10 months and 15 days (ending in July of 2024) and will stop the approval of “any building permit, occupancy permit, conditional use permit, variance, subdivision map, design review, administrative site plan review or other land use entitlement or permit, or regulatory license or permit required to comply with the provisions of the municipal code or specific plan for service based, non-entertainment uses.”

The moratorium applies to much of the central section of Fontana, including the area where the proposed Planned Parenthood building is located.

It was unclear whether any other projects would be directly affected by the moratorium.

Ramona Thomas, an attorney representing Planned Parenthood, spoke against the ordinance during the public comments portion of the meeting, saying it had “several legal flaws.”

Thomas said Planned Parenthood had complied with all the requirements that the city had established for the facility.

Planned Parenthood, along with Fontana Fast Forward (a social and environmental justice organization), had submitted statements of opposition to the ordinance prior to the meeting.

In their comments after the vote, none of the members of the City Council spoke specifically about Planned Parenthood.

Sandoval said he voted against the ordinance because he believed it would prevent some businesses, including minority-owned businesses, from being able to expand.

Mayor Acquanetta Warren disagreed with Sandoval, saying that the city is not trying to stop businesses.

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