An indoor cycling studio shuttered last month after city planning commissioners discovered it was operating without a minor conditional use permit will be allowed to reopen after the commission voted 3-1 Tuesday to grant the necessary permit.
Pedal Spin Studio owner Cindy Bell apologized to city officials for conducting a trial run at 1111 Foothill Blvd., an agreement she'd made with property owner Dr. Cecilia Kaesler, in advance of the studio's April 10 hearing date for a permit to allow her to offer spin cycling and other fitness classes from a 2,800-square-foot storefront.
Bell addressed concerns brought up at the April hearing by business owners who said the parking demand generated by the studio would negatively impact customer access on a block where multiple businesses share 11 dedicated spots and a handful of 20-minute spaces fronting Foothill Boulevard.
"Mistakes were made, and I sincerely apologize," Bell said Tuesday. "I want Pedal to be an asset to the community, not a detriment."
Bell agreed to limit the studio's hours to 4:45 to 9 a.m. and 5 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 6:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. on Saturdays and from 6:45 a.m. to noon and 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sundays. She promised not to hold classes concurrently to limit attendance to 20 students and one instructor at a time.
Further, the studio will promote a "Pedal Carpool Club" to reward students who regularly use ride-sharing options to get to class. Students and employees of the studio offered testimony Bell was a woman of her word. But some business owners, including Cakery Bakery's Zora Yasseri, expressed skepticism.
"More than 23 years ago we were told we cannot sell sandwiches because of the parking shortage — we respected that decision," Yasseri told commissioners. "Today we are asking the planning commission to honor the same principle."
Commissioners Mike Hazin, Rick Gunter and Arun Jain stressed the importance of welcoming new businesses while respecting the needs of existing businesses. They said they were pleased to see Bell's efforts to accommodate neighbors after last month's confusion.
Commissioner Henry Oh cast the lone dissenting vote, saying he believed the studio's parking demands may prove too intense for the area.
"I don't think this is the right location for your business to succeed and expand," he told Bell.
Commissioner Jeff McConnell was absent for the vote.
Now that the permit has been approved, Bell can apply for a business license for the La Cañada studio. According to the permit's conditions, the city's development director will review its parking and hours of operation in six months and determine whether further modifications are necessary.