2011-10-27 / Front Page

Parking remains only obstacle for yoga studio

BY KATHLEEN MCKIERNAN

Islanders may soon be able to get a chance for more relaxation, health and well-being as the Planning Commission recommended to the Zoning Board of Review an opening of a new business on 42 Narragansett Ave., the Island Heron.

Karla Jean Bartley of Wakefield and Heidi Steele of Narragansett plan to open a new yoga studio on the corner of Coronado Street and Narragansett Avenue. They said that Island Heron will promote and encourage healthy living, strength and vitality, and will aim to inspire wellness and stress reduction through yoga and meditation classes. They said the new business will also offer therapeutic health services and holistic health consultations. Bartley and Steele said that they plan to teach a cross-section of different styles of yoga to appeal to more people.

“We think it’ll fit in nicely on [Narragansett Avenue] and help other businesses as well,” Bartley said.

The yoga studio owners plan to utilize local businesses to maintain and promote their studio. By becoming an active member in the community, they hope to bring awareness to the benefits of yoga and meditation and at the same time compliment other businesses such as Jamestown Fitness.

Although the Planning Commission had no problem with the women starting up their own business, with parking availability already limited on Narragansett Avenue, some commissioners did have concerns of the studio’s parking situation.

The yoga studio will turn the former office of the Jamestown Press into a health and wellness place, but there is no current variance in place for parking. Currently, the space at 42 Narragansett Ave. only has one parking space, but five are required by the zoning ordinance. There are also no parking spaces in front of the building or at the side on Coronado Street. The commission did find that there is available parking on the street nearby, which many Narragansett Avenue businesses use. To solve the parking issue, the commission recommended a parking variance for four spaces to the Zoning Board.

The Planning Commission also questioned whether the building at 42 Narragansett Ave. has met fire code standards. Yet, Town Planner Lisa Bryer stated Zoning Office Fred Brown approved the building as fit to become a yoga studio. The building has been inspected by the Jamestown fire marshall and meets the current fire requirements.

Upon approval from the Zoning Board, Bartley and Steele will have six weeks remaining in 2011 to prepare the studio and begin marketing the business. The owners of the Island Heron hope to open its door in January 2012.

In other news, the Planning Commission continued to review the Jamestown Comprehensive Community Plan. They made a final draft to the natural and cultural resources section of the plan. With the waterquality needs becoming ever more important on the island, the commission suggested for the town to continue to utilize resources of all outstanding committees, but should consider using a committee of qualified residents to focus on water quality and issues.

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