Self-Storage Operator Derrel's Mini Storage Offers Land for Fresno County, CA, Animal Shelter

Update 4/14/16 – Self-storage owner Derrel Ridenour of Derrel’s Mini Storage has added a $3 million cash donation to his 4-acre land offer to help Fresno County build a new animal shelter. While the board of supervisors this week appeared willing to accept the deal, some members still have concerns that the overall cost of the project will be too high and the location may not be ideal, according to the source.

Update 4/14/16 – Self-storage owner Derrel Ridenour of Derrel’s Mini Storage has added a $3 million cash donation to his 4-acre land offer to help Fresno County build a new animal shelter. While the board of supervisors this week appeared willing to accept the deal, some members still have concerns that the overall cost of the project will be too high and the location may not be ideal, according to the source.

Ridenour’s cash offer would double the amount of money the county had committed to replace the existing shelter, but the self-storage operator also wants to lead the development effort. His preference is to construct a 24,000-square-foot adoption center and shelter that could cost more than $9 million, the source reported. An advisory board would determine the best size and budget for the facility, Ridenour told the board. “The county needs a shelter, and they won’t get too many chances to get the land and $3 million,” he said.

The supervisors voted to keep the project at $6 million or less. If any remaining amount above the allotted $6 million fell on the county to pay for the project, Poochigian told fellow supervisors it could jeopardize plans to build a new district attorney’s office and sheriff’s office substation.

“Mr. Ridenour will not donate to a bare-bones facility,” supervisor Brian Pacheco said during the meeting. “If you don’t want to do it the right way, the best-practice way … then he’s not interested.”


9/1/15 – Retired self-storage owner Derrel Ridenour, whose family operates Fresno, Calif.-based Derrel’s Mini Storage Inc., has offered to donate land near Grantland Avenue along Highway 99 to Fresno County officials for the purpose of building a new animal shelter. The city has been forced to look for options to relocate the shelter after plans stalled to expand the current facility, near downtown Fresno. The Grantland parcel offered by Ridenour is in the northwest portion of the city.

“I look at this as an opportunity for a good change for the animals,” Ridenour told the source. His offer is under consideration along with land that currently houses the county’s Juvenile Justice Center. The county already owns the justice-center property, which contains more than 100 acres on which to build, the source reported.

County officials were expected to review several possibilities in August. John Navarrette, county administrative officer, said he was instructed by supervisors to consider price, freeway access and existing zoning when looking for options. The existing shelter is next to the former county coroner’s office but lacks the opportunity for expansion.

Other than an aluminum building to house some animals, the shelter currently lacks adequate facilities to prevent animals from being exposed to outdoor elements during the summer and winter, according to the source. To keep the shelter at its current location would likely require eminent-domain proceedings, county officials said.

The county was scheduled to receive $11.8 million in July, with about $3 million expected to be used toward building a new animal shelter, according to supervisor Henry R. Perea. The justice-center site could potentially be used to start a vocational program involving dog care for those in detention, but board chair Debbie Poochigian recently argued for a more central location, noting that many residents who use the shelter reside in county islands just outside the boundaries of Clovis, Calif., and Fresno.

The county owns other properties that may also be considered for the shelter relocation, according to the source.

A recent letter to the editor published by the “The Fresno Bee” criticized officials for not jumping at Ridenour’s offer to donate land. Resident Don Drilling of Clovis wrote that Ridenour and his wife, Kim, are animal lovers and previously established the H.O.P.E. Animal Foundation, a clinic dedicated to providing low-cost neuter and spay services. “Mr. Ridenour is a man of action,” Drilling wrote. “As an example, take a look at the Derrel’s Mini Storage nearest you. It is not just a business; it is a complement to the neighborhood, with gorgeous landscaping and attractive walls that conceal storage compartments from view. Our elected officials should be thanking their lucky stars that a man of Mr. Ridenour’s caliber wants to help with a problem that they can’t figure out.”

Complicating the process is a change in provider for the county’s animal-control services. Liberty Animal Control Services had fulfilled the role since 2012 but filed for bankruptcy in May. California Animal Control took over in June, but county officials have recommended Animal Compassion Team as the new provider from a list of applicants. The recommendation is pending approval by the Fresno County Board of Supervisors. The new, three-year contract is scheduled to start in October, the source reported.

Derrel’s operates 55 self-storage locations throughout California. The company’s portfolio comprises approximately 11.28 million square feet of net rentable square feet in about 72,200 units.

Sources:

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