The Planning Commission endorsed LA Fitness' plan to put a an on the first floor and mezzanine of the 10-story office building at 9100 Wilshire Blvd.
LA Fitness wants to occupy a 15,000 square-foot space, which represents 5 percent of the building's 305,000 square-foot floor area, according to a commission report.
Commissioners voted unanimously on June 28 to move the proposed project on to the City Council for final consideration. The council ultimately decides whether to approve or reject a building project.
Parking was the central concern for commissioners and the project's applicants.
"Even though the office building has more parking than required for its current uses, it does not have enough parking to independently satisfy the stricter parking requirement for an exercise club," the Beverly Hills Weekly reported.
The commission approved what's called a "zone text amendment," which relaxes the parking restriction on the club.
"Up to 50% of the parking spaces required to be provided for the daytime (office) uses may be applied to an exercise club use that primarily operates during morning and nighttime hours," according to a section of the commission report that explained the zone text amendment. "Therefore, conservatively 400 parking spaces are available for use as joint parking, which far exceeds the code requirement of approximately 156 spaces for the exercise club."
Current city law allows shared parking only for exercise clubs located in the business triangle, so the zone text amendment eliminates this requirement.
"There doesn't seem to be any historical reason for the business triangle requirement other than the fact that when the shared parking ordinance was initially passed, it related to a fitness center that was going to be in the business triangle," the Weekly quoted commission Chairman Craig Corman as saying. "Staff always liked to narrowly tailor zone text amendments whenever possible. We didn't see any reason necessarily to preclude clubs to utilize shared parking facilities outside of the business triangle."
The building has 978 parking spaces, 70 of which "are currently leased out on a month-to-month basis," according to the Weekly. "Corman said the commission supported adding a condition that would reduce the amount of leased spaces to 40, to make more spaces available in the event the Writers Guild Theater hosts daytime screenings."