For Immediate Release:
RALEIGH GREEN LIGHTS PREGNANCY RESOURCE CENTER
Helping Pregnant Women is Consistent with other Civic Uses Permitted at the Property
RALEIGH, N.C. — On Tuesday Raleigh’s Planning and Zoning Administrator issued a formal determination that Hand of Hope Pregnancy Resource Center is free to operate as a permitted use at 1522 Jones Franklin Road.
In August Hand of Hope Pregnancy Resource Center filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Raleigh City Council’s decision to prohibit the pregnancy help center from opening at 1522 Jones Franklin Road. Before the City Council’s vote, Hand of Hope had received favorable votes from the Citizen Advisory Council and Planning Commission. City Zoning Staff had found that Hand of Hope’s use was consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and compatible with the surrounding area.
After further review of Hand of Hope’s free pregnancy support services, the Zoning Administrator determined that “the use as described is consistent with the ‘civic’ use category, and therefore, permitted within the Residential-4 zoning district.”
“We are thankful for the City Zoning Staff’s review and common sense determination. If a nonprofit civic club like Kiwanis or a religious group like a church can locate at this property, surely we should be free to provide pregnant women free pregnancy resources and share the love of Jesus with them here,” said Hand of Hope Executive Director, Tonya Baker Nelson. Hand of Hope is a nonprofit, pro-life ministry which provides free resources to women facing the challenges of an unplanned pregnancy.
“The Zoning Staff’s interpretation is a step in the right direction.” said attorney Noel Sterett of Mauck & Baker in Chicago, representing Hand of Hope. “We filed suit in order to free Hand of Hope to serve the pregnant women in Raleigh. The sooner women in need have access to free pregnancy resources and support the better.”
The zoning administrator’s determination is subject to a 30-day appeal provision.
Read the lawsuit filed by Mauck & Baker in Federal Court here. [https://issuu.com/mauckbaker/docs/20160817_verified_complaint]
For press inquiries, contact attorney Noel W. Sterett at 312-726-6454 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Hand of Hope’s Founder Tonya Baker Nelson at 919-758-8776
Posted on Thu, November 3, 2016
by Andrew Willis