A couple of dozen supporters of Studio 34, the yoga and arts space at 4522 Baltimore Ave., breathed a collective sigh of relief last night when the Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee vowed to help figure out a way to get the studio compliant with city codes.
Studio 34 needs a “nightclub” permit to continue to hold events like dance recitals and art shows that it has held since it opened eight years ago. A few residents who live near the studio are concerned that if Studio 34 vacates the building one day (it has a 20-year lease) the nightclub permit might be used to open an actual nightclub. The building’s owner also owns the nearby Fiesta Pizza.
The ordeal began a couple of years ago when an organization rented Studio 34 to host a large event. They set up a bunch of folding chairs, but didn’t leave an aisle, a code violation. Later a city inspector came around and suggested that Studio 34 needed a special permit to hold large events that weren’t part of its core mission as a yoga studio. Since another part of its mission is providing community space for all sorts of events, Studio 34’s co-owners have decided to pursue the permit.
“We just want to do it above board,” said co-owner Jim Peniston.
The zoning committee committed to helping Studio 34 and nearby residents figure out a way to get the permit, but have some limits placed on it. For example, there could be a stipulation that the permit has an expiration date.
“No one is anything but complimentary about what you guys are doing,” said zoning committee chair Barry Grossbach.
While no decision was made at last night’s meeting, the board promised to be supportive of Studio 34’s efforts while reassuring neighbors that they won’t someday live near a rollicking, nighttime hot spot.