Fresco residents are upset at proposal for 24-hour “gay fitness club”

Plans to open a men's fitness and social club is upsetting some Fresno residents.

Plans to open a men's fitness and social club is upsetting some Fresno residents.

FRESNO, Calif. — Plans to open a men’s fitness and social club serving the gay community 24 hours a day is upsetting many residents in the Fresno area.

Shelly Cummings, who lives next door to where the club would open, is particularly displeased.

“I am not speaking against people who want to do things like that,” she tells ABC30. “Everybody can do what they want, but for the neighborhood, it being in the middle of a neighborhood with the crime that is bad down here in Tower like it is now, I can’t see anything good coming out of it. I see people getting hurt. ”

Richie Shields, a business owner, also thinks the club will attract problems.

“The people that go there and having fun, not a problem,” he says, “but it’s the byproduct of that — the people that are walking around, maybe prostitution, littering, drug use, things like that, I don’t want to see…”

Craig Harmon, the man hoping to open the club, also operates a business called The Bunker, which is an adult club for men.

Located in the industrial part of zone, it’s closing by month’s end to make way for high speed rail.

Harmon insists the health club won’t be adult-oriented at all, but rather “a gym with a gay orientation to cater to the gay community.”

City Council Member Esmerelda Soria’s says, “One of the main concerns again is the 24 hour period, in addition to some being concerned with it being adult-oriented, so we’ve been tracking it, making sure we will understand what the business will bring to the neighborhood. ”

A hearing was scheduled for the Fresno Planning Commission tonight, but it’s been put off until the staff has more time to study the issue.

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