Pelham Bay Planet Fitness gets 24/4 BSA permit for two years

The weight is over.

And local neighbors complaining about a 24-hour gymnasium may continue to lose parking spaces instead of pounds.

The city Board of Standards and Appeals voted on Tuesday to allow Pelham Bay’s Planet Fitness to remain open 24-hours a day, but required the club to have a parking attendant in the fitness center’s parking lot and to close the parking lot between midnight and 6 a.m., BSA executive director Jeff Mulligan said.

At the April 24 meeting, the BSA also only approved 24-hour operations at its Pelham Bay location at 3060 Westchester Avenue for a two year term, even though it had asked for 10 years on their application, Mulligan said.

Community Board 10 has opposed a new operating permit that would allow for 24-hour operation of the fitness club between Monday and Thursday, especially since the club continued to operate at those hours even after its previous BSA permit expired, said CB 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns.

“Neighbors are saying that there are large numbers of people making loud noise outside of the club, primarily coming from the parking lot, in the middle of the night,” Kearns said. “I read a statement at a BSA hearing on March 27th opposing this because the board feels that a 24-hour facility operating at this location would change the character of the neighborhood forever.”

Neighbors are also complaining about gym patrons parking in homeowners’ driveways and blocking cars in, as well as cruising around local blocks looking for parking, Kearns said.

“They are committed to their business model, which calls for 24-hour operations,” Kearns said. “They cite the presence of a 24-hour gas station in the area, but a gas station is by nature a transient facility. With the gym, the patrons often do not leave right away and stay outside on the street and talk.”

Representatives from Planet Fitness have met with Board 10 at least three times to discuss community concern with 24-hour operations at the gym, said Planet Fitness managing director Chases Villafana, who said he even left his personal cell phone number.

“To this day, not one person has ever called me to complain, nor has our manager gotten any complaints,” he said.

“There is no noise,” Villafana argued.

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