The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 9, 2004


Curves, womens fitness center, may come to Carlisle

Curves, a nationally franchised women's fitness center, may be coming to Carlisle. On April 1 the Board of Appeals voted to give Carlisle resident Gail MacLeod a one-year special permit to operate a small fitness center at 1 River Road. MacLeod hopes to open her business after receiving approval of the various town boards.

From the audienceTom Lane of the Planning Board said that because this was an intensification of the use of the building, she would probably need approval by the Selectmen and a site plan review. MacLeod said that the BOA was her first hurdle and that she would seek all the necessary approvals.

MacLeod said that Curves will use 1,450 square feet of the 5,600 square-foot building. She anticipated that six to eight customers will be there at the same time. Parking seems not to be an issue, with approximately 31 spaces available.

The building has been empty since last October. However, Chip Walker, property manager for owner H. Larue Renfroe, told the board that the building had been full for 13 years, and had never come close to using all the parking.

MacLeod told the board that the center would be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. On Saturday hours would be limited, 7 to 11 a.m. The center would be closed on Sunday. Her gym would have ten hydraulic machines with steps in between. There would be no showers and Veryfine would provide waters and juices.

In addition to the fitness center MacLeod plans to provide exhibit space to artists selling art and photography, in honor of her late father Norman Copeland. Fifteen percent of the proceeds from the art sales would go to the local school.

Abutter Dana Booth asked the board to condition their approval by providing relief from headlights from the parking area in the rear of the building. He asked that screening in the form of trees or a fence be placed between his property and the rear parking lot.

There was discussion about whether MacLeod would still go forward with her plan if she was given only a one-year special permit. She told the board that her lease was a five-year lease, and would like a permit for that amount of time.

Board member Hal Sauer said he would be against giving more than a one-year special permit, because that is what the board always does.

Board Chair Terry Herndon said that he didn't remember a time when a one-year lease permit was not renewed. "When it comes to a new undertaking we just don't know, we often work out the problemsThe board is partial to people who live in town and tries to support themWe need to have the abutters happy, and we work with the applicants."

The board approved the special permit, with the following conditions:

• Lighting must be directed away from the abutters.

• A fence should be installed on the east side, shielding the parking lot.

• Parking should be directed toward the left side of building.

• The proposed hours of operation should not exceed those stated in application.

2004 The Carlisle Mosquito