STAFF PERSON:                                                                              SUSAN THOMAS, AICP

PLANNING COMMISSION DATE:                                              MARCH  23, 2004

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS DATE:                                              MAY 12, 2004


sp 2003-088 jazzercise


Applicant’s Proposal:

This special use permit request would allow an indoor athletic facility in a portion of an existing building, on property zoned LI, Light Industrial.  The subject building is located at 340 Greenbrier Drive, across from the Williams Companies offices, approximately ¼ mile west of Seminole Trail on the north side of the street.  If approved, the Jazzercise studio would occupy approximately 3000 square feet of a building that also houses office furnishing and windows businesses.  (See Attachments A, B, C and D)

Request for special use permit to allow establishment of an exercise studio in accordance with Section 27.2.2(15) of the Zoning Ordinance which allows for indoor athletic facilities in an LI, Light Industrial district.   The property, described as Tax Map 61W Section 1 Block A Parcel 8 contains 2 acres, and is zoned LI, Light Industrial.  The proposal is located on the north side of Greenbrier Drive (Route 866), approximately 1/4 mile west of Seminole Trail (Route 29 North), in the Rio Magisterial District.   The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Community Service in Neighborhood One.

Character of the Area:

This portion of Neighborhood One has a wide variety of existing commercial, office and industrial uses along Commonwealth Drive, Greenbrier Driver, and Seminole Trail, with high concentrations of residential use (mainly multi-family) located close by to the west on Greenbrier and Commonwealth and in numerous smaller neighborhoods/developments such as Minor Hill, Turtle Creek, Berkeley, and Four Seasons.  Immediately east of the site is a parcel of undeveloped land, and to the east of that property is the Flowers Bakery.  To the west is a small office building, on the corner of Commonwealth and Greenbrier.  Across the street is the office of a natural gas transmission company, a large office building east of that, and behind them to the south the former Comdial plant.  This facility was once originally an indoor ice rink, and later it was used by Comdial as office space.  It now houses a variety of smaller uses.


Staff believes that the proposed use is appropriate for the site, with conditions.  The Jazzercise facility complements the nearby residential uses, and also fits well with office and other industrial and commercial uses in the general area.  With no impacts other than parking, the indoor athletic use could co-exist virtually on any site in the urban area that had adequate parking and could accommodate the characteristic music and movement associated with this type of business. 

Zoning and Subdivision History: 

The existing building was approved as an ice rink in 1972 (SDP-189), and later used as additional plant space by a nearby manufacturer.   Since then, a variety of smaller businesses has located there, currently including Design Environs and Windows and Door Pros.    

Comprehensive Plan:  

The Comprehensive Plan designates this area for Community Service in Neighborhood One.  Zoning is LI, Light Industrial, Commercial, and EC, Entrance Corridor.  The intent of the LI, Light Industrial, district is: "to permit industries, offices and limited commercial uses which are compatible with and do not detract from surrounding districts.”  Indoor athletic facilities are allowed in a LI district by special permit.

The 1996 Comprehensive Plan, Land Use Plan makes the following recommendations relevant to this request:

-         Industrial Service uses are recommended for the undeveloped area north of Hydraulic Road, between Route 29 and Commonwealth Drive.  As an alternative, this area may be considered for mixed-use development consistent with the Transitional designation to include commercial services serving additional community scale needs rather than regional demands.  Major considerations in the review of any alternative land use proposals will be the impact to the surrounding road system and adjacent residential uses, and consistency with the land use development standards of the Comprehensive Plan.


The Neighborhood Model

The Neighborhood Model, an adopted part of the Comprehensive Plan, Land Use Plan, sets forth twelve principles for evaluating development proposals within the Development Area. 

Neighborhood Model principles most strongly reflected by this proposal are:

Mixture of Uses – The proposed site and adjacent parcels are characterized by a mixture of uses with considerable variety, which is a benefit to the neighborhood and the larger area.  The exercise studio use blends very well with surrounding and nearby commercial, office, and residential uses, providing a health-oriented activity convenient to many kinds of users.

Neighborhood Centers – This stretch of Greenbrier Drive, from Seminole Trail to Commonwealth Drive, seems to be a center for the neighborhood extending to the west, north and south.  There is the potential for additional future uses in the unoccupied portions of the building and the immediate vicinity to supplement the neighborhood center. 

Redevelopment - The new use in an existing industrial building is a positive example of this Neighborhood Model principle. 


No new buildings or parking are proposed with this special permit application, and no changes to the site are necessary for this use.  For these reasons, the remaining principles of the Neighborhood Model do not appear to be applicable to this analysis.



Analysis of the Special Use Permit as related to Section of the Zoning Ordinance:

The Board of Supervisors hereby reserves unto itself the right to issue all special use permits permitted hereunder.  Special use permits for uses as provided in this ordinance may be issued upon a finding by the Board of Supervisors that such use will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property,

Staff has not identified any detriment to adjacent property that would result from inserting the exercise studio use in an existing building.  Staff sees the proposed supporting commercial use as a complement to existing employment, commercial and residential uses in the area.  The location of the facility on a bus line and within walking distance of numerous neighborhoods is positive from the standpoint of accessibility.

that the character of the district will not be changed thereby,

The activity associated with the proposed exercise studio will not negatively change the character of the district.  Although potentially more active than other uses currently in the same building, the exercise studio fits in well with the overall area and can be accommodated adequately on the site.  In an industrial area, the noise and activity associated with indoor athletic use can be accommodated.

and that such use will be in harmony with the purpose and intent of this ordinance,

The proposed exercise studio is a supporting service to the LI district and nearby residential and commercial districts.  Its introduction further mixes uses on the site, one of the principles of the Neighborhood Model.

with the uses permitted by right in the district,

This new use should not impact any other uses in the district.  Building Code and Zoning Services has determined that sufficient parking exists on the site, and VDOT and Engineering have identified no deficiencies in access or circulation.  There is currently a zoning violation on the site, however, related to the failure of one of the existing businesses to obtain a zoning clearance as well as changes that have been made to the building that are not reflected on the approved site plan.  The site must be brought into compliance with the Zoning Ordinance before Jazzercise can commence business.

with additional regulations provided in Section 5.0 of this ordinance,

The Supplementary Regulations section of the ordinance does not address this use. 

and with the public health, safety and general welfare.

In staff’s opinion, the addition of the exercise studio use in this portion of Neighborhood One is positive for the existing industrial, commercial and residential uses.  The site is accessible to pedestrians, vehicles and transit, well located for activity throughout the day, and can accommodate the Jazzercise parking demand without adversely impacting other uses in the building.   


Staff has identified the following factors which are favorable to this request:

1.                  The building is existing;

2.                  Parking is adequate, and a separate entrance and exercise area exists for the exercise studio use;

3.                  This proposal reflects several principles of the Neighborhood Model, among them Mixture of Uses, Redevelopment, and Neighborhood Centers;

4.                  The indoor athletic facility would offer services to residents, employees, and others meeting a need and demand for health and fitness opportunities in the urban area

Staff has identified no factors that are not favorable to this request.


RECOMMENDATION:  Staff finds that no adverse impacts to other uses on the site or adjacent properties will occur as a result of the exercise studio use.  The studio will benefit current and futures residents within Neighborhood One and the larger area.  

Staff recommends approval of SP 2003-088, with the following conditions:

1.                  Violation 2003-301 shall be abated prior to commencement of the exercise studio use;

2.                  The proposed exercise studio shall be operated in general accord with the special permit justification submitted December 22, 2003 and supplementary information received February 23, 2004;

3.                  Any enlargement or expansion of the exercise studio use or structures, within the existing building or in a building addition, will require an amendment to this Special Permit (SP 2003-088).



A – Area Map

B – Site Map

C – Existing Site Plan

D – Applicant’s Justification
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