Photo and Story by Monica Sanchez
A business proposal concerning a 24 hour franchise gym, Anytime Fitness, with lighting in the parking lot close to a residential area was approved on July 11 by the Planning Commission Board to open in Arcadia soon.
Married couple, Lori, former volleyball coach and teacher, and Chris Huisken, who works in finance, are excited to bring a fitness option to Arcadia. As the owners, they intend to start a business “characterized by safety, security, and success,” said Mr. Huisken.
Safety is a hot topic with 24 hour businesses. The Huiskens will not only have personal 911 panic buttons for members of their gym, but they intend to keep the parking lot well-lit at night, so members can travel safely from the gym to their cars at odd hours.
Assistant City Manager Jason Kruckeberg said, “We received an email from a concerned neighbor,” brought on by the lighting and possible noise involving a 24 hour business so close to the residential area.
While the noise is a minor issue, with only five people projected at most to use the facility at night, another resident, Virginia Dahl wants “to keep it (the neighborhood) as residential as possible.” After explaining how the lighting affects her home, she asked, “What are my rights?”
Ms. Dahl explained to the board how the light from the parking lot shines into her bedroom window, which makes her feel like she has no privacy within her own home. With a lack of privacy in her bedroom, Ms, Dahl also feared the lighting would decrease the value of her property.
The Planning Commission Board suggested that the owners plant trees on the property to offset the light shining in Virginia Dahl’s bedroom window. Some board members did not think planting trees should be a condition of approval on the business because, ultimately, they believed the owners would do the right thing.
Ms. Dahl left the meeting saying, “It’s not about the lighting. It’s about the privacy.”
After hearing Ms. Dahl’s concerns at the Planning Board Commission meeting, “we were able to meet with her and see where the light went into her bedroom,” said Lori Huisken. “We have asked the property manager to replant shrubbery along the property wall that had died and therefore was pulled out. Also, our contractor is going to redirect the building light or hood them so she doesn’t have the current problem. I believe it will help her and the current look of the parking lot.”
“At this point, we haven’t started to build out of our facility quite yet,” explained Lori Huisken, but Arcadia residents should expect Anytime Fitness to be a safe and convenient workout option – to fit anyone’s schedule – soon.
Anytime Fitness will be located at 7-11 E. Foothill Blvd. The owners would “love to keep in touch regarding all that we are doing in the community,” said Lori Huisken. Contact them for more information at (626) 689-8326.
*Written for Arcadia Weekly