City Council OK with idea of storage facility expansion inside city limits

Eli Pace
This aerial photograph shows where a new self-storage facility could be built on Mack Lane in Craig.
City of Craig/Courtesy photo

Facing a question about whether Craig should allow a storage facility expansion on Mack Lane, City Council was more worried about potential drainage issues and crime.

According to a memo to Craig City Council from Building Official Marlin Eckhoff, Curt Weiss is hoping to expand Craig Storage into the vacant lot at 444 and 458 Mack Lane, next to the West Kum & Go.

Weiss has applied for a conditional use permit to build a mini-storage facility at the site. However, the property sits in the Community Commercial Zone, and self-storage facilities are only permitted inside city limits with an approved conditional use permit. According to discussions, the goal of that policy is to drive self-storage facilities to the outskirts of Craig or the county.

According to information provided to City Council, the expansion would consist of six new buildings at a total of 26,000 square feet. The submitted site plan was a basic concept, and a completed site plan still needs to be submitted before final approval.

“One thing that will definitely need addressed is drainage,” Eckhoff told City Council. “There is currently too much snow to get a drainage plan figured out.”

Eckhoff said that with such a large, hard surface in the project proposal, it might cause drainage issues for adjacent properties, and he needs more details about the drainage plan. However, the building official explained that he wanted to take the proposal to City Council first to see if elected leaders would support the applicant’s request for a conditional use permit.

If the permit were to be denied for land-use reasons, there would be no need for Weiss to spend his time and money on an engineered drainage site plan, Eckhoff said.

Eckhoff added that if City Council felt the storage facility would be an appropriate use, city staff would get more details before the final site plan goes before the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council for approval at a later date.

This preliminary site plan for a proposed self-storage facility shows how six buildings might fit on a vacant lot off Mack Lane in Craig.
City of Craig/Courtesy photo

During public comments, a neighboring resident cited longstanding drainage issues in the area and asked City Council to seek more information about the plan before approving the permit. Other neighbors offered letters and comments highlighting issues with crime and homeless people staying in the existing storage units as reasons for concern.

One of the neighboring residents asked for a security gate to help control access to the units, but Weiss responded that it would be cost prohibitive and outside the scope of the current configuration of the existing buildings and the new ones he hopes to build. Still, Weiss said there would be a number of security measures included in the project such as security cameras, motion activated lighting, smart locks and regular drive-thru checks.

“I know in the last two years, we’ve probably had hundreds of storage unit burgs in the Craig and Moffat area,” Mayor Ryan Hess said as he talked about wanting to require certain security measures for storage facilities in general.

Ultimately, City Council had the options of denying the permit or approving the request with or without a handful of recommendations from the Planning and Zoning Commission, adding City Council’s own conditions to the approval or tabling the proposal for more details.

The Planning and Zoning Commission had voted 3-0 recommending City Council approve the conditional use permit with the conditions that, if needed, the applicant construct a potential detention pond on the southwest corner to help create a buffer between the residential units and the new facility; there also must be both a landscape buffer and fence on the south side of the property to create separation between Woodbury residents and the storage units; and on the north wall of the storage units, visible from Victory Way, there must be an aesthetic facade that will somewhat match the proposed facade on the east end of the units.

In the end, City Council chose to approve the conditional use request with Planning and Zoning’s conditions and an added stipulation that the project works to address drainage issues in the area.

“My only concern is that I don’t want drainage in (the neighbors’) yards,” council member Paul James said.

In other business:

  • City Council approved on second reading a measure allowing for municipal offenders to be sentenced to useful public service. The new language will allow for all classification of offenses to include a possible requirement to perform up to 48 hours of useful public service per offense.
  • City Council approved a conditional use permit at 590 W. Seventh Ave. for a home-based child care facility to increase the number of children it serves from six to nine.

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