Scottsdale Independent

Amended Bell Group Self Storage application passes Scottsdale Planning Commission

Scottsdale City Hall is at 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. in downtown Scottsdale. (File photo)

Scottsdale City Hall is at 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. (file photo)

With a 4-3 vote, an application for a new self storage facility in north Scottsdale has been approved by the Planning Commission.

Following an Oct. 25 meeting where a number of north Scottsdale residents spoke out against an application for a two-story, 106,224-square-foot storage facility seeking a major General Plan amendment, plans have been altered and the application has been approved.

An outcry from local neighbors and an abutting property owner fearful of losing the quality of life they’ve invested into for nearly 20, persuaded the Planning Commission to continue the item to its Nov. 8 meeting, with a 5-1 vote.

The Scottsdale Planning Commission Nov. 8 voted 4-3 to approve the storage facility, after the applicant agreed to a reduced height of 18 feet. The three dissenting votes were Commissioners Prescott Smith, Ali Fakih and Kelsey Young.

“We agreed to lower the building to 18 feet and they stipulated us to do that,” applicant representative, Jordan Rose of Rose Law Group said in a Nov. 10 email. “It was a productive discussion and we are going to continue working with the two adjacent neighbors.”

The meetings were held at City Hall, 3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd.

On Oct. 25, a number of residents voiced their opinion loud and clear: a two-story facility would disrupt their accustomed quality of life.

Bell Group Self Storage’s application seeks a land-use designation change from “rural neighborhoods” to “commercial” on 2.8 acres of a 4.6 acre site on the southeast corner of Shea Boulevard and 116th Street. The lot along Shea Boulevard and 116th Street requires a major General Plan amendment due to a change in the land-use classification, city officials say.

Additionally, the applicant seeks a zoning district map amendment for service residential to neighborhood commercial on the 4.6-acre site.

Bell Group Self Storage is seeking to build an air-conditioned storage facility on a site that has been vacant for 18 years, according to Ms. Rose.

There are five storage facilities within five miles of the subject site; two of the closest facilities are directly north of the site within 1,500 feet, a city staff report states. One of the facilities contains approximately 750 units, and has a vacancy rate of 4 percent, the report states.

Three prior open houses have been held by the applicant or the city — in June and September — city staff notes.

The proposed project is said to be low-scale, compared to a charter school, day care or office building that could be built instead, Ms. Rose contends. Traffic for the facility is expected to be very minimal compared to other uses, she said, noting the need for storage in Scottsdale.

The items are scheduled for City Council’s Dec. 5 meeting — where General Plan changes are only allotted to come across council’s dais but once a year.