The Winter Park Racquet Club, which turns 65 years old in February, is planning major renovations and additions to enhance members' eating and drinking experiences, as well as adding needed parking.
The proposed improvements, which go before Winter Park's City Commission on Monday, include adding a new kitchen wing which will allow upgrading and consolidation of the existing 35-year-old kitchen; a new "Sugar Shack" poolside snack bar; and adding 24 parking spaces.
The racquet club, located at 2111 Via Tuscany on the shore of Lake Maitland, is zoned Parks and Recreation. Within PR zoning, private golf or racquet clubs are conditional uses requiring City Commission approval for major changes. The club has submitted a revised master/site plan and building plans.
The city's planning staff and Planning and Zoning Board have recommended approval of the project, on condition the club adds a wall and landscaping to screen cars in the front parking lot from the street.
The racquet club's general manager, Leslie Karen, declined several requests for comment on the improvements and they're projected cost.
Plans filed with the city show that the new 2,862-square-foot, one-story kitchen wing will be connected to the main building for food service within the main dining room, as well as food deliveries to poolside tables and the snack bar area. The 16-foot-high addition will have clay tile to match the architectural style of the existing building.
The new snack bar will be constructed on the lakeside of the existing Sugar Shack, which will be converted to a shaded seating area and new restrooms. The new building will feature an open-air bar with some table seating and a small kitchen for minor food preparation orders. An existing lifeguard building on the property line should block sound emanating from the relocated snack bar from the neighboring property.
A new tennis court, now under construction, resulted in the loss of 14 parking spaces. That loss will be made up by a new parking lot addition of 21-24 spaces at the front of the property. The parking lot will be screened by a low decorative wall, landscaping in front of the wall, and ligustrum trees to hide the cars from public view.
The club is also asking the city for approval of 24 future parking spaces on the north side of the current parking area. The approval would allow the parking to be built at the club's option, subject to providing stormwater retention and a solid vinyl fence on the property line.