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Stamford reps reject fitness complex for office park

August 7, 2018

STAMFORD - The Board of Representatives Monday night overturned a Zoning Board ruling that changed regulations to allow large indoor-outdoor fitness complexes to be built in half a dozen office parks on High Ridge and Long Ridge roads.

The vote was unanimous.

Representatives, who agreed to review the Zoning Board decision after they were petitioned by residents living near High Ridge Office Park, said such a use is not appropriate for corporate campuses, even though they are struggling for tenants.

But protecting neighborhoods is a tenet of zoning regulations, representatives said during their meeting at City Hall, where legislative chambers was packed with residents.

“The purpose of zoning is to promote the welfare of the public,” said city Rep. J.R. McMullen, R-xx. “I don’ know how you introduce that kind of traffic into that neighborhood and keep people safe.”

City Rep. David Watkins, R-1, said a complex such as Life Time Fitness, the high-end chain looking to build a 100,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor center, would be a good thing for Stamford. But it doesn’t fit in High Ridge Office Park, which is surrounded by single-family homes and condominiums.

“The critical issues are traffic and noise,” Watkins said.

“We can use a facility like this but this is not the location for it,” said city Rep. Eric Morson, D-13.

It’s not known yet whether the owner of High Ridge Office Park, George Comfort & Sons, will appeal the Board of Representatives’ decision in court. A spokesman said the company is reviewing its legal options.

acarella@stamfordadvocate.com; 203-964-2296.

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