The camp, conceived as a training facility for teenage girls active in competitive volleyball, is located at 1575 Linda Way. The facility occupies 20,000 square feet in an existing building in the industrial part of the city and houses three courts and a weight training area for players.
The camp has been in operation since June but ran into complications when filing for a business license.
Because it shares a parking lot with neighboring businesses, concerns arose among city planning officials about overflow and safety conditions.
City staff counted about 50 parking spaces available to those attending the camp and set the facility’s occupancy rate to correspond directly.
But the business owners asked that the occupancy rate be raised to 75 to allow for 65 players and 10 coaches to be present at any one time.
Kurt Huntoon, a representative with the camp, told planning officials Thursday that the parking issue was, in fact, a non-issue.
Currently, the camp is in its off-season, as girls’ high school volleyball is actively in play. Only during a 10-week summer session, when attendance is high and regional tournaments are held (allowed under conditions of a special-use permit), will parking reach near capacity, Huntoon said.
Moreover, the camp’s hours of operation typically do not align with neighboring businesses, the exception being the aforementioned summer session.
Additionally, parents often drop off their kids, or carpool, thereby alleviating any concerns about lack of parking, Huntoon said.
But some commissioners expressed skepticism about this, and city staff also pointed out that a special-use permit applies to the property and not necessarily to the business itself. So, for example, if the volleyball camp were to receive a special-use permit and then move locations, the present facility would be open to other recreational uses under the guidelines of that permit.
City staff reported that they had received complaints from neighboring businesses about the lack of parking during the summer.
However, Huntoon said he intended to submit letters of support from neighboring businesses.
In the end, Huntoon decided to waive his due process rights to a ruling on the special-use permit so that he and his colleagues could address the occupancy issue. State law requires planning officials to vote on a special-use permit within 65 days of an applicant’s request.
“We need to do a little more homework,” Huntoon said, the notion being that it makes little sense to go ahead and accept the special-use permit without having permission to increase occupancy.
The Planning Commission approved a motion to continue a hearing on a special-use permit in November once camp officials and city staff has had time to discuss and review the parking and occupancy issue again.