City to Grant Temporary Use Permits Allowing Outdoor Gyms to Expand to Private Properties During COVID

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    Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

    Your favorite local gym could be coming soon to an empty parking lot near you. The West Hollywood City Council passed an ordinance allowing outdoor gyms, fitness facilities, and private training facilities to expand to private properties offsite from their existing permanent place of business.

    At a regular city council meeting on Monday February 1, 2021, the council voted unanimously to pass the Temporary Use Permit for outdoor gyms during the local emergency.

    West Hollywood Mayor Pro-Tempore, Lauren Meister, wanted to make sure that the gyms who qualified to for the temporary permits were already established business as gyms in the city, while Councilmember John Erickson said he supported the item, but he expressed some concerns surrounding proper mask compliance at outdoor gym facilities and he said he was really concerned about noise impact as more businesses move outdoors. “I like Rhianna, but I don’t want to be woken up at 6am by Rhianna’s music, personally, or while I’m trying to work from home,” he said.

    According to City Staff, only fitness facilities with businesses licenses to operate as gyms in West Hollywood will be granted the Temporary Use Permits.

    Staff also assured the council that all gym/fitness facilities shall comply with the City’s Noise Ordinance. Outdoor amplification of music is not permitted. Use of an outdoor microphone or megaphone is also not permitted.

    The City Council adopted the urgency ordinance to assist local businesses in their efforts to recover from COVID-19 impacts. The city will continue to follow the phased business reopening plan from Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and amend the temporary measure to help businesses reopen successfully while meeting social distancing and safety requirements.

    The following design and operational standards for outdoor gyms/fitness facilities/private training facilities approved under a Temporary Use Permit apply as minimum requirements:

    • Parking requirements for the host facility are temporarily suspended to Updated: January 25, 2021 allow for the temporary use to utilize parking spaces.
    • Parking requirements for the temporary use permit will be determined according to the size and scope of the outdoor fitness facility to adequately accommodate parking demand.
    • A minimum of one (1) handwashing station and one (1) restroom is required, either indoors (subject to all health requirements) or as a temporary facility set up outside.
    • Locker rooms and/or enclosed changing rooms are prohibited in the temporary location.
    • The final location and configuration of the outdoor fitness area shall be subject to approval by the Director of the Planning and Development Services Department, who shall consider public safety issues and maintenance of minimum clearances to comply with ADA requirements and the safety and convenience of pedestrians and customers.
    • Temporary signage may be included as part of outdoor fitness areas.
    • All structures, barriers and/or equipment shall be temporary in nature. Items need not be removed each evening, but shall be capable of being removed; imbedded into the pavement they must be fixed through the use of recessed sleeves and posts, otherwise by wheels that can be locked into place or weighted in place. Structures that are more permanent in nature are subject to further review by Building and Safety and may require additional permits.
    • Outdoor fitness areas are limited to use by patrons of gym/fitness facility and cannot be utilized by general members of the public.
    • Gym/fitness facility management shall keep the outdoor fitness area clear of litter, debris, trash, etc. Trash receptacles shall be provided in the outdoor fitness area.
    • At the end of each business day, establishments are required to clean (sweep and wash) the area in and around the outdoor fitness area and remove the debris to a closed receptacle. No debris shall be swept, washed, or blown into the sidewalk, gutter or street in conformance with the City’s storm water quality regulations.
    • Temporary outdoor lighting shall not impact adjacent residential units.
    • The allowable hours of operation are 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., per the City’s Noise Ordinance (WHMC 9.08.050). Restricted hours may be applied if the fitness area is located immediately adjacent to residential uses.
    • Noise: All gym/fitness facilities shall comply with the City’s Noise Ordinance. Outdoor amplification of music is not permitted. Use of an outdoor microphone or megaphone is not permitted. All music and instruction shall be transmitted to patrons through wireless headphone systems. Music and instruction shall not be audible to any adjacent residential uses. From 6:00 A.M. to 9:00 A.M., gym/fitness facilities shall not be audible from any residential uses. Additional measures may be necessary to comply with the noise limitations as required by the Noise Ordinance.

    The gym and fitness establishment may expand their operation on private property not adjacent to the place of business, including vacant property, parking lots, parking structures, or other private property where patrons may engage in physical activity, with the written consent of the property owner.

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