Board of adjustment approves variances for climate-controlled self-storage facility

Published 3:00 am Friday, January 18, 2019

Troy Self Storage is one step closer to building a climate-controlled self-storage facility after getting approval for variance by the Troy board of Adjustment Thursday evening.

David Webb, owner of the business, came before the board Thursday to request special allowances for the proposed new facility on Three Notch Loop.

Webb requested maximum building area variance, parking variance, parking area/drive setback variance, and variance from the distance required between the sides of two non-residential buildings on one lot.

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The variances requested would allow Webb to build a 24,000 square-foot facility on a 48,000 square-foot lot, a 50 percent coverage that exceeds the typical allowance. Webb was also requesting that the drive extend to the property line, which normally has a setback, and asked for a variance to allow the two buildings to be five feet apart instead of the usual 15-foot minimum.

The new facilities would be accessed indoors as opposed to the business’s other outdoor self-storage facilities.

Webb said a requested parking variance also shouldn’t be a problem with the site as most people do not spend large amounts of time at the self-storage buildings.

“They generate very little traffic,” Webb said, “There are some days where nobody is even there. There’s no office, no bathroom. When (customers) bring items in they drop it off and go. There would be no business being done there. They would conduct business at the location on the bypass. People would only be here to load and unload.”

Webb said he plans to build just one of the two buildings proposed to begin with, and would then build the other if everything goes well with the first building.

The board unanimously approved to allow the variances.

Allen Parker, representing SDI LLC, requested a rehearing and a special exception and density variance to construct 18 duplexes on Easy Street.

Parker previously requested the exception in October 2018, but the request was denied after nearby residents voiced concerns about the project.

The board agreed to rehear the request Thursday after Parker said it had been modified to allow direct access to and from the site only from George Wallace Drive and not First Avenue or B Street.

“We made a major concession there to re-layout traffic entering that development trying to alleviate that concern,” Parker said. “I believe the major redesign we’ve done should answer the questions we had about traffic back in October. The subdivision north of this is well-established and we’re not bringing any traffic in and out of there at all.”

Parker said buffers would also be maintained to keep from imposing on the nearby neighborhoods.

More than 80 nearby residents signed a petition opposing the allowance and submitted it to the board, and residents also spoke out against the request during the meeting.

Greg Price, who said he lives about 800 yards from the Easy Street Complex said traffic is not the only concern with the development, but the project would still increase traffic on George Wallace Drive.

“We also have some general safety concerns,” Price said. “There is no on-site maintenance and there are a lot of (police) calls out to the facility. It is constantly noisy; the police are probably tired of hearing me calling. Increasing the size of the facility is going to erode the local area and increase the problems exhibited now.”

Former Second Avenue resident Trey Earnest said the development no longer affects him because he has moved, but he could attest to noise issues regarding the Easy Street complex.

“I lived there eight years and all the way up there I got woken up by the racket coming from Easy Street,” Earnest said. “I felt strongly enough to attend this meeting today and say that the noise and the rowdiness carrying on at all times of night is too much as it stands now.”

The board unanimously denied the request.

The board was split on a decision about whether to allow a mobile home on Needmore Road, but without a majority, the request was denied.

Pamela Pearson said she wanted to move her current mobile home to the property as she was seeking to live on her own land.

Dr. Frank Veal, who lives near the property, said he was concerned about the number of mobile homes coming into the area and didn’t want a “mobile home park” to follow suit and locate there.

Board member Perry Green said the zoning for the area would not allow for a mobile home park to locate there without coming before the zoning board and felt confident that “no mobile home park would ever be allowed to locate there.”

Another nearby property owner David Bacon said there are mobile homes nearby that are already located there and are being lived in currently. He said a structure currently on the property in question is “an eyesore” and said Pearson moving in a mobile home and tearing down that structure would be a net positive for the area.

Veal said he had concerns still that mobile homes being allowed in the are would devalue his own property.

Landmark Realty owner Earl Ellis said he thinks the board would be setting a bad precedent by allowing a mobile home into an area with other residential homes and that it would cause property devaluation if it continued.

Green moved to approve the request, but could not get the votes for the motion to pass; therefore, the request was denied.