MINT HILL – Harris Development Group has asked town leaders for an exemption to zoning rules to allow a Planet Fitness to be developed within an outparcel of the Mint Hill Festival Shopping Center.
The center is in a part of town requiring buildings to front a public street or public open space.
“We have had a lot of discussions with the town about what would be defined as public open space,” said Brian Smith of Urban Design Partners during the Sept. 9 public hearing. “And we just couldn't come to an agreement.”
Smith showed a site plan approval from 1985 to demonstrate the intention to develop the outparcel as an extension of the shopping center.
Commissioner Patrick Holton said his biggest concern with the proposal was if there was enough parking to be shared among all of the center's tenants, considering it's also used as a park and ride location for CATS buses.
Steve Harris, of Harris Development Group, said there's plenty of parking.
“Neither Planet Fitness, nor the landlord or the other tenants have any concern,” Harris said. “In fact, I would say that the other tenants were delighted to have fitness come in here and bring that many more customers.”
Derrick Taub, who represents the owners of Mint Hill Festival Shopping Center, said the center was built with an over-allocation of parking spaces and the new use won't adversely impact tenants.
“We support their development,” Taub said. “We look forward to moving forward and having a new neighbor at this parcel.”
No one spoke against the project during the Sept. 9 public hearing. The planning board is scheduled to vet the plan Sept. 20. It could return to town commissioners for a decision as early as Oct. 14.