Planned Parenthood will not move forward with plans to move from its current location in downtown Visalia to a more visible location on Mooney Boulevard. Staff with the Orosco Group withdrew their application on Friday.
The decision also means that a planned public hearing at the Visalia City Council meeting on March 7 will no longer take place, and the meeting will take place at Visalia City Hall instead of the convention center.
Patrick Orosco, a co-managing partner of the Orosco Group, confirmed the news to the Valley Voice.
“We decided this morning to withdraw our application,” Orosco told the Voice on Friday. “We weren’t left with the impression that anyone in the Visalia city government disagreed with Planned Parenthood’s right to expand. Their concern was the location.”
Orosco said that at some point you have to honor how the city wants to compose itself.
“All in all Visalia has been very good to work with and has been supportive of our efforts to revitalize vacant buildings along the South Mooney corridor,” he said. He added that he didn’t want to expend the company’s goodwill that had been built up over twenty years of working with the city.
Tulare-Kings Right to Life, a local anti-abortion organization, took a victory lap in an email blast sent out Friday evening. The group invited members to the Visalia City Council meeting on March 7, even though the public hearing was cancelled.
The email stated that Planned Parenthood’s “invasion of Visalia” — where it already has an office — was a hot potato that had been “mashed”, and that Tulare-Kings Right to Life “may have won ‘Round 1’ in this fight to prevent ‘Murder on Mooney,'” but the group expected Planned Parenthood to continue searching for another location in Visalia.
“So the fight might not be over yet, but please continue to support our efforts and pray for our staff as they make a difference for life. But it just goes to show that when THE PEOPLE raise their voices against abortion, the blood of aborted babies also CRIES OUT to Heaven,” the email states.
No ‘Plan B’ exists for Planned Parenthood at this point, Orosco said, because the Visalia Planning Commission confirmed the location on Mooney had met all the requirements: it was appropriate for the region and complied with both the general plan and Visalia’s zoning ordinances.
“No fallback plan for Planned Parenthood has been considered,” he said.
Orosco said that Planned Parenthood is disappointed, but was cognizant of the fact that wherever they land, they will be there a long time — and they want to start off on a good foot.
“We have had that building for sale for 3 or 4 years so it’s back to the drawing board,” he added.