By. Brent Wilson, Field Officer
Greene County’s Planning Commission approved a Special Use Permit (SUP) at their December 18th meeting for a new health club in the Gateway Market Center.
Bart Svoboda, Zoning Administrator/Planning Director, presented the SUP request. The 3 plus acres is located north of the McDonald’s Restaurant and the small strip center that includes Subway and the Virginia ABC store. It is located on the corner of Enterprise Drive and Stone Ridge Drive and borders Route 29 South.
There were no concerns from any agencies who reviewed the request. The health club would have service hours extending into the evening but this should not be an issue with other businesses adjoining the parcel except for the A-1 parcel where the Circle Inn is located. Svoboda said that staff recommended approval of the SUP for an indoor recreational facility with one restriction – that a health club be the only specific use approved.
Gateway Market Center hopes to break ground in January or February and have a tenant arranged to manage the health club. The principal works at the National Ground Intelligence Center and has a franchise to operate the health club.
There were no public comments so the commission moved directly of their portion of the session. Commissioner Frank Morris supported the SUP and was glad to see another business come to Greene. Commissioner Vic Schaff questioned how this SUP differed from the one for the veterinarian office at the Best Western development in southern Greene County Svoboda indicated the Best Western Development included 5 parcels while this application is a single parcel.
Commissioner Norm Slezak raised concerns about the lack of an acceleration lane on US29 south as you would leave the development. Svoboda said that the entrance north of Enterprise Drive has a stop light that breaks up traffic. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will have the final decision if any change is to be made. Enough traffic might result in the turn lane at the Route 33 light could be extended to Enterprise Drive. Slezak also asked if he health club would operate 24/7 since it was described as using a card access system. Svoboda indicated that he believed the client base would be mainly daytime and evening and that there is no residential near to disturb.
Commissioner Eva Young had no comments on the pending application in this her first meeting. Chairman Jay Willer expressed concern over the amount of parking. Svoboda indicated that there is additional parking on either side of the building and there are two entrances.
With no further discussion, the SUP was unanimously approved and will be passed on to the Board of Supervisors in January, 2014.
As noted above, Planning Commissioner Eva Young has replaced former Chairman Anthony Herring who resigned. At the end of the meeting, Norm Slezak announced his resignation, again reducing the Planning Commission down to 4 commissioners.
The new Greene County Board of Supervisors will begin reviewing applications for the opening on the Planning Commission in January.
Brent Wilson is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization.
The Free Enterprise Forum Field Officer program is funded by a generous grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR) and by readers like you.