The way was cleared Monday for In-Shape Health Club in Ceres to add an outdoor fitness area to the north side of its Mitchell Road facility. On Monday, the Ceres Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit to allow for the addition, including a 36′ x 75′ outdoor swimming pool, 244 square foot spa and 600 square foot pool equipment building. square feet – surrounded by a 10 foot -high decorative black metal fence.
In Shape is in the process of purchasing the vacant 1.69 acre lot for the addition. The intention will be to merge the two lots into a single parcel.
The company plans to reconfigure the existing restrooms at the north end to be accessible from the outside. Plans also call for the installation of four 10-by-10-foot windows on the north side of the building and six windows of the same size on the west side. City staff said those windows will not provide any visibility to adjacent residences.
An additional 54-space parking lot, landscaping and light poles will be added along the north, west and east ends of the outdoor fitness area, which will be located west of Leslie’s Pool Supply.
The outdoor fitness area will be covered by a 6,000 square foot metal canopy and will include pickleball courts and seating. Pickleball is a racquet/paddle sport that was created by combining elements of other racquet sports. Two or four players use strong paddles to hit a perforated polymer hollow ball over a net. The ball looks very much like a Wiffle ball, with 26 to 40 round holes.
The 33,600 square foot In Shape is operated under a conditional use license approved in 2006.
After addressing the city’s concerns about potential conflicts such as noise, lighting, and tree height, staff supported the project.
The outdoor fitness area will be limited to operation from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.
The city told In Shape to consider that in the recent past, some north-adjacent homeowners have expressed concerns about any future buildings or landscaping that prevent desired natural light from entering their residences. To be sensitive to their wishes, In Shape features a combination of evergreen and accent shrubs along the northern and western perimeters due to their relatively short height.
However, palm trees and a 10-foot decorative black metal fence will be placed along the east end of the outdoor fitness area to enhance the site’s appearance.
“We believe this is highly unlikely to impact neighboring residences, so staff have no objective for the requester’s request,” said lead planner James Michaels.
“Given everything we’ve been through over the two-plus years…this is a health club expansion project,” said Sandra Stephenson, In Shape’s 15-year rep. “It didn’t really look like we were going to be able to do this not too long ago, so that’s much appreciated. We think this is a very good use for this plot which, as you know, has been vacant for a very long time. In Shape has become very into outdoor fitness during the time of the pandemic, more so than before and really felt that was a really positive way to incorporate this package into this particular club, which obviously had previously closed for COVID. And they were able to buy the property back and wanted to expand it to include that use.