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    15.    
City Council Regular
Meeting Date: 10/01/2019  
Subject:    PC 19-13, Consider Introduction of an Ordinance Regulating Self-Storage Facilities
From: Scott Harlicker, Planner

INTRODUCTION
The City Council is being asked to consider the introduction of an ordinance to amend city code regulating self-storage facilities. In February, the Council put in place a moratorium on new self storage facilities and the expansion of existing facilities. In April and July, Council held workshops to discuss the topic and asked staff to develop changes. Staff is proposing changes that include new definitions for self-storage facilities and regulations where the facilities will be allowed.
DISCUSSION
Current Zoning Regulations

In Coon Rapids, there are two districts in which self-storage facilities are allowed: 1) General Commercial district, as a conditional use (accessory outdoor storage is not permitted); and 2) Industrial district (permitted use), with outdoor storage allowed as an accessory use, but with a conditional use permit. Sites that require a conditional use permit, as well as site plan approval, are subject to additional findings found in Section 11-304.2 Findings for Approval. Sites that are located within the River Rapids Overlay district are subject to specific findings found in Section 11-1003.8(5), in addition to the regular CUP standards found in Section 11-304.2.

Existing and Approved Facilities

There are seven existing self-storage facilities and two approved facilities.

Existing Facilities

9145 University Avenue
The facility was approved in 1976. The property was zoned General Commercial when the applicant made application. During the review process the City changed the zoning to include PUD. Since the property was developed the underlying zoning has been changed to Community Commercial/PUD. The buildings are single story with overhead doors accessing the units.

11365 Robinson Drive
This facility was approved in 1986. The applicant was granted site plan and special use permit approval. The property was zoned General Commercial at the time of application and remains General Commercial today. The buildings are typical single story with overhead doors. In 1997, the facility was expanded to its current configuration. The 1997 approval included the two-story building and outdoor storage for up to four vehicles.

9909 Vale Street
The site plan for this facility was approved in 1987. The property was zoned Industrial at the time of application. The zoning remains Industrial today, but is within the River Rapids Overlay District. The property was included in the River Rapids Overlay District several years after it was constructed. The buildings are typical single story with overhead doors. Outdoor storage was included in the approval.

10201 Woodcrest Drive
The site plan and special use permit for this facility was approved in 1988. The property was zoned General Commercial at the time of application and remains General Commercial today. The buildings are typical one-story with overhead doors.

3476 Coon Rapids Boulevard
The site plan and conditional use permit for this facility was approved in 2001. The approval also included truck and trailer rental. The property was zoned General Commercial at the time of application and remains General Commercial today. It was included in the River Rapids Overlay District shortly after it was constructed. The storage is indoors within a two-story building.

11230 University Avenue
The site plan and conditional use permit for this facility was approved in 1982. The property was zoned General Commercial at the time of application and remains General Commercial today. The buildings are typical one story with overhead doors. Outdoor storage was not included in the approval.

730 86th Avenue
The site plan and PUD was approved in 1999. The property was zoned Industrial at the time of application and remains Industrial/PUD today. The building is one story with overhead doors and there is no outdoor storage.

Approved Facilities

220 101st Avenue (Foley and 101st Avenue)
In November 2018, Council approved an amendment to a PUD to allow a four-story indoor self-storage facility. The property has an underlying zoning of General Commercial. No outdoor storage was approved.

3021 124th Avenue
In April of this year the Planning Commission approved a three-story indoor self-storage facility. The property is zoned General Commercial. No outdoor storage was approved.

Possible Locations for Future Self Storage Facilities

Below is a list of possible locations for future self-storage facilities based on current zoning. The sites are currently undeveloped.
  • Shamrock parcel, behind the post office along Highway 10, zoned (GC)
  • Shamrock parcel, adjacent to Wells Fargo on Robinson Drive, zoned (GC)
  • Vale street parcel, Vale Street/Coon Rapids Boulevard, zoned (I and RRO)
  • Dynamics Holdings parcel, next to 9953 Foley Boulevard (by park and ride), zoned (I)
  • John Roberts parcel, next to their East River Road facility, zoned (I)
  • Metro Molded parcel, northeast corner of Hanson/Highway 10 interchange, zoned (I)
  • Rosar parcel, next to 8501 Evergreen Blvd (just north of 85th Ave), zoned (I)
Comparison with Other Cities

Staff looked at the following cities for comparison: Blaine, Fridley, Andover, Anoka, Brooklyn Park and Champlin.  Two of the cities (Blaine and Brooklyn Park) have seven facilities and have similar community characteristics when compared to each other.  Coon Rapids has seven existing facilities, but also approved two new projects.  As such, Coon Rapids would have the highest number in comparison to neighboring communities.  Fridley has three facilities and Andover, Anoka and Champlin each have one. 

Comparison to Other Cities Approval Process

Blaine
Commercial (B-2)  CUP – mini-storage w/o outdoor storage
Regional Commercial (B-3) CUP – mini-storage w/o outdoor storage
Light Industrial (I-1)  and (I-1A) CUP – mini-storage with outdoor storage
Heavy Industrial (I-2) CUP – mini-storage with outdoor storage
 
Andover
General Business CUP – self-storage indoor storage only
Industrial  CUP – self-storage indoor storage only
 
Anoka
Highway Business (B-1) CUP – mini-storage indoor storage only with specific design standards
Light Industrial (M-3)/Commercial Overlay CUP – mini storage no outdoor storage
 
Brooklyn Park
General Business District (B-3) CUP – self-storage with outdoor storage
Vehicle Sales and Showroom (B-4) CUP – self-storage with outdoor storage
Industrial (I) CUP - self-storage with outdoor storage
 
Champlin
Commercial Mini-Storage District (C-3) CUP – commercial mini-storage
Created a specific district to allow existing facility

Analysis

After looking at how these uses are regulated under the current zoning code, staff is proposing to create definitions for self-storage facilities and indoor self storage facilities. Staff is also proposing changes to how the facilities are regulated in three zoning districts, General Commercial, Industrial and the River Rapids Overlay District. 

Definitions

Self-storage facilities are not currently defined. Staff is proposing two definitions, one for traditional single story storage buildings with garage doors and one for indoor facilities with no direct outside access to the units. Below are the proposed definitions:

Self-Storage Facility. A facility containing separate, individual and private storage spaces of varying sizes, leased or rented on an individual basis for the storage of personal property; where individual renters control and access individual storage spaces via its own access door. Ancillary retail sales of related items, such as moving supplies, and facility offices may also be included. Such facilities to be used for storage only.
 
Self-Storage Facility, Indoor. A fully enclosed building that is climate controlled containing separate, individual and private storage spaces of varying sizes, leased or rented on an individual basis for the storage of personal property; where individual renters control and access individual storage spaces; each unit must be directly accessed from the interior of the building via its own access door. Outdoor access to individual units is prohibited. Ancillary retail sales of related items, such as moving supplies, and facility offices may also be included. Such facilities to be used for storage only.

Self-Storage Facilities in the General Commercial District

Proposed Changes
Under the current code, all self-storage facilities are allowed as a conditional use (accessory outdoor storage is not permitted). Staff is proposing to amend the code to allow only indoor self-storage facilities. They would require a conditional use permit and outdoor storage would not be allowed. The facilities would be subject to the standard commercial design standards.

Implications
The proposed changes would impact the existing four facilities that are within the General Commercial District. These four facilities would become legal non-conforming because they fit the definition of self-storage facility. Only indoor self-storage facilities would be allowed. Non-conforming uses are allowed to continue to operate; they can be maintained, repaired, and if destroyed can be rebuilt in the same configuration. However, they cannot be expanded and if they cease operation for more than 12 months, they lose the non-conforming rights and cannot be reopened. They would have the option to rebuild as indoor storage.

Self-Storage Facilities in the River Rapids Overlay

Proposed Changes
Under the current code, all self-storage facilities are allowed as a conditional use on properties that are zoned either General Commercial or Industrial. Accessory outdoor storage is allowed with a conditional use permit on properties that are zoned Industrial but not General Commercial. Self-storage requires a conditional use permit and is also subject to standards specific to the River Rapids Overlay District. Those standards include the following: 1) It is not feasible to install a public sidewalk to serve the facility, and 2) The facility is screened from view from Coon Rapids Boulevard.

Staff is proposing to amend the code to allow only indoor self-storage, with no outdoor storage, in the General Commercial and Industrial districts. The two specific standards listed above would be eliminated. The other standards specific to the River Rapids Overlay District would remain. The facilities would be subject to the standard overlay district design standards.


Implications
The proposed changes would make the existing facility on Vale Street and Coon Rapids Boulevard legal non-conforming. The U-Haul facility would also become non-conforming. Even though it was granted site plan approval and a CUP in 2001, it does not comply with the current standards.

Self-Storage Facilities in the Industrial District 

Under the current code, all styles of self-storage facilities are allowed as a permitted use. Accessory outdoor storage is allowed but requires a conditional use permit. No changes are being proposed for the industrial district. New facilities will be subject to the current industrial design standards.

Planning Commission Meeting

At the Planning Commission meeting held on September 19, no one spoke at the public hearing. The Planning Commission asked about economic issues such as future demand and saturation levels. Staff indicated that future demand is generally market driven and is not something the City can control. Should the proposed amendment be approved, there is land available to accommodate future self-storage development. The proposed amendment is not prohibiting the use but is trying to encourage an indoor model. The Commission asked about sidewalks. The proposed amendment would remove the existing condition that it is not feasible to install a public sidewalk to the facility. This does not remove the requirement that a developer will have to install a sidewalk along the street if one is shown on the sidewalk and trail plan. The Commission also asked about design guidelines.  Staff indicated that they could be included in future discussions.
RECOMMENDATION
In Planning Case 19-13, the Planning Commission recommends introduction of the proposed ordinance amending definitions and regulations relating to self-storage facilities.

Attachments
Draft Ordinance

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