Falmouth retirement community seeks OK for new fitness center

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FALMOUTH — OceanView at Falmouth is seeking permission from the town to build a new, three-story fitness center on its campus.

The Planning Board was scheduled to get its first look at the proposal during its meeting on Tuesday, which was held after The Forecaster’s deadline.

OceanView is a 60-acre retirement community bound by Middle, Lunt and Falmouth roads, which first opened in 1986.

In an introductory letter sent to the Planning Department, Rick Licht of Licht Environmental Design said OceanView’s existing fitness center is “becoming outdated and with an increased focus on health and fitness (among residents) the facility has been stressed and it’s time for an expansion.”

He said the new 18,062-square-foot center would be built between the Hillside Lodge on Blueberry Lane and the Blueberry Commons apartment complex on Marion Way and called it “a minor addition.”

It would include an underground garage, along with a two-story fitness center, four new independent-living apartments and a rooftop deck with a juice bar that could also be used for outdoor fitness classes.

Licht said right now “the campus has a limited fitness center” that sees intensive use by the active resident community. He said “a state-of-the-art fitness center is important to maintaining a market edge.”

Access to the new fitness center would be provided from the outdoors and from within the community’s Hilltop Lodge.

The project would require a new driveway and would mean the removal of several sections of sidewalk along Blueberry Lane, but the goal is to preserve “the important cluster of oak and pine trees adjacent to the existing Hilltop garage driveway,” according to Licht.

A town ordinance requires the Planning Board to find that the new fitness center “is generally consistent with the approved Master Plan,” for OceanView, he said.

“We believe that the project is indeed consistent with the master plan,” Licht added. It also “presents an exciting addition to the overall OceanView community and is an important amenity necessary … to support the needs of (this) active senior community.”

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or kcollins@theforecaster.net. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KIrishCollins.

An architectural rendering of how a new fitness center would fit in with the existing buildings on the OceanView at Falmouth campus.