Friday, June 9, 2023

JCC Supes Approve Possible Gymnasium on Tewning Road

This site on Tewning Road could be the future home of Williamsburg Gymnastics. (Kirsten Petersen/ WYDaily)
This undeveloped site on Tewning Road could be the future home of Williamsburg Gymnastics. (Kirsten Petersen/ WYDaily)

Update: The James City County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the proffer amendment during its May 10 meeting.

Williamsburg Gymnastics will now be able to build a gymnasium in the Tewning Road corridor if it selects that location.

Original Story: Members of the James City County Planning Commission agreed Wednesday night that a building for indoor athletics — potentially a gymnasium for Williamsburg Gymnastics — would be a viable use in the Tewning Road corridor.

In a 5-0 vote — members Danny Schmidt (Roberts) and Chris Basic (Berkeley) were absent — commissioners recommended that existing proffers on 2 acres of land be amended so an indoor sports facility can be a permitted use.

The Tewning Road corridor is zoned Limited Industrial to accommodate warehouses and light industrial plants. The site of the potential gymnasium is next to the Tewning Business Center and across from the James City Service Authority offices, which is in a Public Lands zoning.

During a public hearing, applicant Pete Walker, the co-owner of Williamsburg Gymnastics, said his programs have outgrown the gymnasium at William & Mary Hall, which has been the home of Williamsburg Gymnastics since it first offered recreational classes in 1974.

“We cannot continue to grow in the small space at William & Mary,” Walker said, noting there are currently 150 students participating in their weekday and Saturday classes.

Cindy Walker, also a co-owner of Williamsburg Gymnastics, said she and her husband have been looking at several properties for a possible move.

“This is one property we are definitely doing some due diligence with,” Cindy Walker said, adding that there is no one property they have settled on.

Two parents of Williamsburg Gymnastics students came out to support the amendment and testified to the program’s emphasis on “healthy kids and healthy lives,” as well as Pete Walker’s dedication to individual students.

Commissioners said a gymnasium would enhance the Tewning Road corridor and be “a plus” for the community. Commission Chairman Tim O’Connor (At-Large) said if Williamsburg Gymnastics builds a facility there and later moves on to a larger building, the county can convert it to a shell building to attract another business.

The proffer amendment is tentatively scheduled to go before the Board of Supervisors on May 10 for approval.

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