From the Department of City Planning:Well folks, Big Bird's gone bonkers.
The Health and Fitness Text Amendment eliminates the special permit that is currently required for gyms, spas, and licensed massage therapy – referred to as Physical Culture or Health Establishments in the Zoning Resolution.
The proposed changes could apply to a range of health and fitness businesses such as gyms, martial arts studios, indoor cycling spaces, yoga studios and licensed massage therapy studios.
Gyms and spas would be allowed to open and operate in commercial and manufacturing districts around the city. (Learn more about Zoning Districts here.) Similar to other neighborhood services such as restaurants, drug stores, and dry cleaners, these businesses would be allowed along all local retail streets. In certain commercial districts generally characterized by smaller establishments, gyms and spas would be limited to 10,000 square feet.
Licensed massage therapy studios would be allowed just as are other health care practices licensed by the State, such as physical therapy or outpatient doctors’ offices. These are permitted in residential, commercial, and manufacturing districts.
On his way out the door, BDB wants to legalize sex work so badly he is now encouraging massage parlors to open up next to your kid's school, on your quiet residential street and in your apartment building. The City already does practically nothing to close illegal spas and massage parlors located along commercial corridors. Lifting restrictions on gyms and martial arts studios makes sense, but why we're inviting sex trafficking to proliferate in residential areas now is mind boggling. To tie this latest push to "COVID recovery" is a bit of a stretch.
This is making its way through the community boards now so you might want to make your thoughts known to them and your elected representatives.