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Panel rejects bid to rezone Tiller clinic property

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- A Wichita planning commission has rejected a bid from an anti-abortion group to rezone the property where slain abortion doctor George Tiller's clinic is located.

The Metropolitan Area Planning Commission voted 6-4 Thursday against a request by Kansans for Life to rezone the property. The group submitted nearly 14,000 signatures to the Wichita City Council earlier this month seeking the change.

The Wichita Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/Yr1a35 ) Kansans for Life development director David Gittrich criticized the panel for conducting the hearing Thursday while much of the town was paralyzed by a strong winter storm.

The nonprofit Trust Women Foundation Inc. bought the building in August and wants to provide abortions and other women's health services. The group's founder, Julie Burkhart, says she was relieved by the commission's decision.