Real Estate Developer Sues City Over Denied Self-Storage Site Plan

Self-storage developer Russell Eason, owner of Eason Resources LLC, has filed a lawsuit against Berthoud, Colo., after his proposed site plan for Bargain Storage of Berthoud was rejected by town officials. The project called for 166 shipping containers to be used as storage units on 1.71 acres to the west of First Street and extending north from Franklin Avenue. Eason maintains he was advised in June 2015 the site plan was approved, but was later told the application would go before the planning commission to consider fencing issues, where it was later rejected and eventually denied on appeal, according to the source.

Self-storage developer Russell Eason, owner of Eason Resources LLC, has filed a lawsuit against Berthoud, Colo., after his proposed site plan for Bargain Storage of Berthoud was rejected by town officials. The project called for 166 shipping containers to be used as storage units on 1.71 acres to the west of First Street and extending north from Franklin Avenue. Eason maintains he was advised in June 2015 the site plan was approved, but was later told the application would go before the planning commission to consider fencing issues, where it was later rejected and eventually denied on appeal, according to the source.

Eason contends the planning commission abused its discretionary power and exceeded its jurisdiction when it rejected the plan in September 2015. “I just want to build my project within the confines of Berthoud’s codes and ask for the same rights Long’s Peak Storage has been given and not the double standard that seems to exist,” Eason told the source in an e-mail.

Town code stipulates the town administrator can refer a site plan to the planning commission based on a project’s complexity, anticipated impact or proximity to conflicting land uses, the source reported. In this case, the administrator asked the commission to review the plan due to the project’s proximity to the northern end of the Peakview Meadows subdivision as well as concerns the self-storage facility wouldn’t comply with the architectural standards required by the town’s development code, according to a staff report. The code stipulates, “Containers may not be permitted for use as storage or building purposes without site-plan and/or building-permit approval.”

During the Sept. 24 planning meeting, community development director Curt Freese suggested gating the facility, adding landscaping and painting the storage containers to make the project more appealing to commissioners. Eason also agreed to fence portions of the property to hide the containers from view, but the commission rejected the plan with a 4-3 vote, according to the source.

Eason then appealed the decision, but the board of trustees upheld the commission’s decision during a Nov. 17 hearing. In his complaint, Eason argues he wasn’t allowed to present “relevant and material evidence” during the appeal hearing to support the project, the source reported.

The developer is seeking relief, claiming wrongful denial of the site plan. A court hearing is scheduled to review the case on Jan. 15.

Bargain Storage operates three self-storage facilities in Colorado and one in Texas.

Sources:

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