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Running a CrossFit Facility Tips and guidance on how to open and operate a CrossFit gym.

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Old 03-26-2009, 07:26 PM   #1
Robert van der Heyden
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Conditional Use Permit?

I'm in the process of Affiliating and have found a location(Tustin, CA). Because of the zoning I'll need to apply for a conditional use permit.

Has anyone (I'm sure plenty have) gone through this procedure. Any words of wisdom? What to do, what not to do. What to prepare ahead of time? What to bring to the public hearing?

I have heard that its a pain stacking process, but i believe my city needs a CrossFit and I'm willing to fight teeth and nail for it. So any help/guidance/mentor would be greatly appreciated. I have the passion for CrossFit I just want to make sure I also have the documents and information needed to defend it.

The property is on the Tustin/Irvine city line. Its zoned in a light industrial park area. There is a Taekwondo school, a dance school, and a doggy day care (all which needed the C.U.P). I have already reached out to them for help, and I have one of the business helping me.

Thanks for you time,
Robert
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:43 PM   #2
Ned Ferguson
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Re: Conditional Use Permit?

Frankly, I think it has way more to do with local government shilling for dollars than it has to do with the actual use. I expect it is more of a formality than anything else, as long as you pay up. Just another hidden tax. The best approach is to get someone on the inside (e.g. Zoning Board staff) to help you with the process. Ask them the same questions. That is what they are there for and it makes you appear to be cooperative.
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Last edited by Ned Ferguson : 03-26-2009 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:35 AM   #3
Joanna Sapir
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Re: Conditional Use Permit?

I just went through this and I agree with Ned's approach. Be friendly and cooperative with the department. They will be the ones preparing the report for the commission. The particular issues that the department cares about should be revealed - in my case it was parking - and then you can work to address these. The fact that there's already similar operations in the same place is great in that you don't have to forge a new path. Find out what they did and what issues they had to address.
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:42 PM   #4
Roger Harrell
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Re: Conditional Use Permit?

I've been through this process several times in a couple different cities in our area (once even with a full on public hearing). For us, parking is almost always the main contentious piece. Depending on your zoning you will have to show that there is enough on-site parking to accommodate the use. They may do a traffic analysis. The previous comment about going in and asking questions is great. Get to know the folks on staff. Find out all you can. Be friendly and constantly ask what you can do to help with the process. You'll come across well, and it will help speed the process, which can take a long time in some places.
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:17 PM   #5
Justin Rovtar
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Re: Conditional Use Permit?

What are they asking for in terms of fees? Out where I live they are asking $2500 for the permit. Not even sure if that is refundable if you get denied.

Any tips on helping the parking situation will be appreciated.

My city wants 1 parking space allotted per every 200 SQft of usable space. If I rent a 1200 SQ/ft unit that would be 6 spaces. Most of the business parks will give you two for that size unit.

How do you deal with this if they only give you 2 spaces?
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:55 PM   #6
Ned Ferguson
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Re: Conditional Use Permit?

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Originally Posted by Justin Rovtar View Post
What are they asking for in terms of fees? Out where I live they are asking $2500 for the permit. Not even sure if that is refundable if you get denied.

Any tips on helping the parking situation will be appreciated.

My city wants 1 parking space allotted per every 200 SQft of usable space. If I rent a 1200 SQ/ft unit that would be 6 spaces. Most of the business parks will give you two for that size unit.

How do you deal with this if they only give you 2 spaces?
Funny how every one of these conditional use permit problems originates from California - including one brought up in a recent CF Journal video.

Justin,

First, if you get denied that's too bad. I doubt you will be seeing any money back, though there is usually an appeals process. Better to be prepared at the first go. Certainly, parking is always an issue within any city. Counties tend to be more lenient (usually).

Second, you have to use some common sense. Two parking spaces is clearly unsuitable for your purposes, unless you only intend to entertain one client in your box at a time. You are going to have to find a location with adequate parking. If you are patient, you might be able to find a decent subleasing opportunity in a larger facility. Some surprising deals turn up on CraigsList from time to time.

1 space/200 SF is actually pretty lenient. I am betting you will need twice that in reality.
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Last edited by Ned Ferguson : 03-27-2009 at 08:04 PM.
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