Guest column: Our objections to LA Fitness do have merit

Marty Potts, project manager for the LA Fitness health club, says Rossmoorians’ objections to the development plan are without merit.

He wrote that some of the citizens were trying to “scare the neighbors into believing that health clubs bring crime into a community.”

My primary focus addressing the Seal Beach City Council and Planning Commission regards crime because I lived across the street from a major fitness club for 13 years and experienced the consequences first hand. Drug-dealing and gang activity were rife. Conditions were serious enough that the police department assigned a dedicated unit to the parking lot.

I belonged to the Neighborhood Watch program and attended meetings at which the local law enforcement representative spoke. He itemized facilitators to criminal activity in a community:

• Busy parking lot near a business with late hours of operation.

• Venue concealed from street view.

• Area with limited access for police and other emergency vehicles.

• Close proximity to one or more freeways.

• Location in or near affluent, unsecured neighborhood.

All of these crime facilitators are built into the LA Fitness Center proposal.

The Project Manager completes his argument with a standard fallacy, an argumentum ad verecundiam (improper appeal to authority). Perhaps the Orange County Register’s editorial team did note, as he said, that there’s no reason why an LA Fitness cannot open at the Shops at Rossmoor. Does that mean they are experts on the matter or does it suggest, like Marty Potts, they have an interest in the venture?

We do not want a 37,000 square foot monstrosity of a building, constructed 15 feet from Rossmoor Park Condominium wall, attracting more traffic, parking issues, pollution, untenable noise and crime to our cherished neighborhood.

You want it? Build it next to your own house!

Diane Rush lives in Rossmoor.