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Redwood City Planned Parenthood Opening Held Up Amid Parking Flap

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REDWOOD CITY (CBS 5) – A battle is brewing over nine parking spaces that Planned Parenthood needs in order to open a clinic in Redwood City.

The organization thought it had found a promising location near transit on El Camino Real.

“We identified Redwood City as a place with really a high need for services,” said Lupe Rodriguez of Planned Parenthood.

The only real obstacle to the office opening was a shortage of the necessary parking required to get a city permit.

”We require 27 spaces, there are only 18 spaces on the site,” said Redwood City spokesman Malcom Smith.

Planned parenthood went across the street to Enterprise Rent-A-Car and tried to reach a deal to buy the extra nine spaces. That deal has apparently since fallen apart, and anti-abortion protesters could be the reason why.

Ross Foti and others have threatened protests – including crowds and abortion images – at Enterprise or any other neighboring business that sell the needed parking places.

“Because of them, Planned Parenthood would be able to open on this site,” said Foti. “This is what you call free speech…I’m just working it a different way.”

The city is now requiring Planned Parenthood to prove that it has the parking before their project moves forward. Enterprise, based in St. Louis, has issued a statement saying that the contract is non-executable because it does not have all of the necessary signatures.

“We’re still in contact with that organization, and we’re talking to others. We are still committed to the Redwood City community to provide life saving health care services,” said Rodriguez.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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