~ By Bob Volpe ~
The Woodland Park Planning Commission held a recent special work session to fine tune changes to a city ordinance dealing with the touchy subject of self-storage facilities, and possibly ending certain size limits.
A public hearing will occur on July 12.
The initial draft was read to the commission at the April 12 meeting, but the group wanted to discuss the proposal further, before passing it on to the public hearing stage.
The changes address the city’s municipal code regarding self-storage facilities. The language in the current code refers to “mini-storage” units. This has been changed to “self-storage” units.
At present, the code limits the square footage of storage compartments to 300 square feet. The change eliminates the 300 square foot limit to no limit on the size of the compartments. This change will; “allow for storage of personal property such as cars, trailers, RV’s, light trucks, motorcycles, off road or all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, and boats.”
Also changed is what staff believes was a typo. This changes the code from “conditional” to “permitted conditional” in PUD (planned unit development) zones and from “permitted” to “conditional” in heavy service commercial/light industrial zoned districts.
The commission also changed wording in the municipal code from “storage of household materials” to “personal property.”
Commissioner Ellen Carrick asked staff about the height limit on such facilities. City Planner Lor Pelligrino answered that existing height limits of 35 feet in these zoned areas still applies, but Planning Director Sally Riley stated that a developer still has the option of applying for variances if they so choose.
Commissioner Geoff Watson questions staff about the sale of RV’s and the like. Staff responded that such sales would be prohibited, but truck rentals such as a U-haul type of business would be permitted.
Commissioner Vicky Goode questioned the need for such a facility in the city again, as she did at the initial reading of the proposal at the April 12th meeting. Staff replied that such a facility fills a gap in the city, responds to a community need, and provides opportunities and flexibility for storage industry and residents.
In the end, the commission reached a consensus to have staff rewrite the draft with the changes and bring it back to the commission for a public hearing on July 12.
The commission made it clear that despite the changes (should they
pass council), all applications for self-storage facilities will still have to come before the commission for approval of a conditional use permit.
Still unclear is how this will affect a planned self-storage facility that passed the initial reading at the last city council meeting. At that meeting, council approved moving the proposed 72,000 square foot self-storage facility forward to the public hearing stage.
Should the changes to the municipal code addressed by the planning commission fail to get approved by the city council, the code limit of 300 square feet on storage units will remain in effect. This will cause problems for the project developers, M3XP2 LLC, who want to to build a large self-storage facility on part of property currently owned by the Saddle Club.