During Wednesday’s meeting of the Delaware Planning Commission, three requests were approved for recommendation to City Council that would pave the way for a self-storage facility on the city’s west side.
The site, which spans approximately 8.28 acres, is located on the north side of West Central Avenue and just west of Fire Station 303. Approved by the commission was a rezoning amendment, changing the zoning of the site from B-1 Neighborhood Business District to add a Planned Mixed-Use Overlay, as well as a conditional use permit and a preliminary development plan for Central Avenue Self-Storage.
Proposed is a main 49,600-square-foot indoor self-storage building that would contain 167 conditioned units and 204 unconditioned units. Two separate outdoor buildings on both the east and west sides of the main building are also proposed. The building to the east would encompass 4,600 square feet and would contain 23 units, while the building to the west would encompass 6,900 square feet and would include 23 additional units.
A total of 22 covered parking spaces for boats and RVs are shown in the plans north of the main building. In total, 439 storage units would be offered on the site.
The proposed site has proven to be problematic for potential development in past years. Initially, both the Planning Commission and City Council approved a preliminary development plan for the construction of a Family Dollar retail center on the site in 2012.
However, there were significant concerns about the potential impact on traffic the store might have given the close proximity to the fire station. As a result, the property owner never progressed with the plans and began pursuing other development options for the site.
A final development plan was approved by council in February for a 3,754-square-foot medical office building on a 1.31-acre portion of the site that has since been subdivided.
During the discussion, Planning and Community Development Director Dave Efland acknowledged the proposed storage facility isn’t without its flaws. However, he said the plan also carries some benefits over the alternatives for the site.
“No plan is perfect. … This is imperfect at best,” Efland said during the meeting. “I was here for the Family Dollar preliminary approval process. That was not well-received. … I think from a staff perspective, the opportunity to take a use list with B-1 that has a wide range that includes retail, office and restaurant uses, and really narrow that use list down to the medical office, this use, and a couple of ancillary ones, ultimately that will generate very little traffic and will, therefore, have very little conflict with Station 303.”
With the recommendation of the Planning Commission, the three requests will now go before council for a first reading at its next meeting, which is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 14.
Should council approve the preliminary development plan, the developers would still need to iron out specific details of the proposal prior to being awarded approval of a final development plan.