Two city staffers said they think the city should regulate future self-storage facilities that are developed in the city.

Planner Todd Streiler and City Engineer Dan Rahn asked the Pacific Planning and Zoning Commission to amend the city’s C-2 zoning district by adding language defining self-storage units as a conditional use in the district.

Speaking at the Oct. 22 P&Z meeting, Streiler said local real estate developer Bud LaMar wanted to construct a self-storage unit on his Hogan Street property, but that he and Rahn had not brought the plan forward because they wanted to pass the amendment to the zoning code first.

The two have been approached by property owners with questions of what to develop on their property. There is an interest in self-storage units, but the code does not include a provision for self-storage.

“We’d like to do a text amendment to the code to establish self-storage buildings as a conditional use in the C-2 zoning district,” Streiler said.

Currently, self-storage units are considered under industrial. These are often storage buildings that have no office and are not manned.

“The market indicates there is a demand for these units,” said Streiler.

As a rule, self-storage facilities provide an organized place to keep stuff stored when there is no room at home, he said, and lend themselves to cleaning up the town and getting rid of things that might otherwise be stored outside.

Streiler said among conditions that he and Rahn considered were the best location for self-storage developments. They prefer arterial commercial areas where there is high visibility rather than industrial parks where they are largely out of sight.

“The C-2 commercial district is the location we ask you to consider,” Streiler told plan commissioners. “We suggest they be approved with a conditional use permit.”

The amendment described self-storage facilities as building or group of buildings consisting of individual self-contained units leased to individuals, organizations or businesses for self-storage of personal property.

“Self-storage facilities are considered to be desirable and convenient to the community, but due to their nature or operation may have a detrimental effect upon the potential development of other properties,” the staff report read. “Therefore, staff recommends permitting “Self-Storage” as a conditional use in the city’s C-2 arterial commercial district.”

The recommendation also included a list of factors commissioners should consider before approving a conditional use permit for a new self-storage facility, including buffering, security fencing, traffic circulation, outside storage, onsite attendant and size of storage bays.

The proposed code amendment would have no effect on existing self-storage facilities in the city.

All such projects would be approved as a planned unit development (PUD), which allows the commission and board of aldermen to grant relief from some of the conditions.

“The PUD process sets itself up so we can apply conditions as we see applicable,” Streiler said.

The planner also noted that LaMar, who is working on plans for a self-storage yard, was present at the meeting.

“We can’t move forward with processing his inquiry until language amendment is addressed,” Streiler said.

LaMar said he planned to construct a topnotch self-storage facility that would include both inside and outside storage. He said the new development would meet all of the requirements that Streiler and Rahn were seeking.

A lengthy discussion on the conditions that they would like to see applied to self-storage units included what type of screening might be required, whether units would be manned and provisions for outside storage.

With all nine members present, the commissioners voted unanimously to recommend to the board of aldermen that the zoning code amendment be made.