Update 9/17/15 – In a 5-2 vote, the Marengo City Council approved a variance on Sept. 14 to allow Highway 20 Self Storage to add two new buildings to its facility, pending city-staff approval of a landscaping plan. Council members outlined the conditions, which included a masonry component as well as plants to screen the facility. Prairie Enterprises is willing to create an acceptable landscape plan, Terry McKenna, the operator’s attorney, told the council.
Aldermen Nicole DeBoer, Todd Hall, James Regelin, Michael Smith and Mayor Donald Lockhart voted to approve the variance. Aldermen Matt Keenum and Brett Martin voted against it, and Dennis Hammortree and Steven Mortensen were absent.
Prior to the vote, Keenum suggested a commercial business that generated sales tax would be a better use for the property, the source reported. “I’m not against variances, but in this particular case, I don’t think the best use is to have the expansion of the mini warehouses ... right up next to the highway, regardless of the screening,” he said.
However, the area hasn’t caught the interest of any other retail-type businesses, McKenna said.
Regelin reiterated his support for the project. “They’ve been there for a while; they’ve done very successful; they’ve kept it clean. We’re looking to support a local business now that wants to grow, and it’s my opinion we should be able to do whatever we can to support local businesses that’s reasonable,” he said.
9/14/15 – Prairie Enterprises LLC, which operates three self-storage properties in Illinois, is seeking a variance from the city council in Marengo, Ill., to add two new buildings and 120 units to Highway 20 Self Storage. The council is scheduled to vote on the proposal today.
The city’s planning and zoning commission voted last week to recommend a setback variance for the property at 1030 E. Grant Highway and allow the expansion, Gary Boden, city administrator, told the source. The commission debated the proposal for an hour before voting 5-0 to approve the variance. Members recommended changing the setback requirement from 150 to 108 feet, Boden said.
The variance also included conditions for landscaping and continuity with fencing and unit design, according to the source. “There’s a general understanding that people are probably concerned about the aesthetics. The question is whether, in fact, adjustments can be made to this proposal that actually would allow for the aesthetics to be addressed,” said Boden, who expects the city council to also discuss the property’s exterior before voting.
Founded in 2008, Prairie Enterprises also operates Big Buff Storage and Pyott Road Self Storage in Lake in the Hills, Ill. All of the properties offer 24-hour access and free use of the facility truck with new rentals. Highway 20 and Pyott Road also offer the sale of moving and packing supplies.