A Council committee this week approved a rezoning application that would allow an athletic facility in a North Raleigh watershed.
Members of the Comprehensive Planning Committee voted 2 to 0 to recommend approval for a Lifetime Fitness facility to be built on a 26-acre lot on Falls of Neuse Road just south of Interstate 540. The area is currently zoned for residential uses.
Councilor Bonner Gaylord was absent from the meeting.
Lifetime Fitness would construct its athletic facility and parking lot on one-third of the property while using the rest for stormwater management.
At a previous meeting, Councilors asked representatives from Lifetime Fitness to look at the possible impacts of pumping the water off site and to meet with the affected downstream neighbors.
Beth Trehos, an attorney for Lifetime Fitness, said the study and the community meeting were completed and her stormwater expert, Amos Clark, found there would be no adverse impact to the downstream communities. Capturing and then slowly pumping the water off site was found to lessen the impact of flash flooding that already exists.
Clark said the retention pond will hold more than 15 inches of stormwater during a severe storm. The water will be pumped at a slow rate to prevent erosion downstream. The pumps will also have backup power in case of electric failure.
Lifetime Fitness will be responsible for maintaining the stormwater system.
Originally, the project’s master plan called for a more comprehensive low-impact development stormwater system, but Councilors didn’t feel that they had enough empirical data to show that the system would improve water quality.
Lifetime Fitness is including a 15-year bond that would cover the costs of converting to a low-impact system in the future if the City Council chooses to do so.
The full Council will vote on the rezoning at its next council meeting on June 4.