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Self-Storage Developers in Iowa One Approval Vote Away From Fire-Code Amendment


The city council in Urbandale, Iowa, is just one vote away from changing the city’s self-storage fire-sprinkler code.

The Urbandale City Council has approved two of three readings to change the city’s fire code to allow self-storage facilities with less than 12,000 square feet of space to be built without fire sprinklers. Twelve thousand square feet is the recommendation of the International Fire Code.

Brad Vander Linden and business partner Eric Vander Linden requested the amendment so they wouldn’t be required to install an automatic sprinkler system at the proposed self-storage site.

Despite opposition from the city’s fire chief, the council gave the initial approval earlier this month to change the fire code and allow Hickman’s Self-Storage to be built without fire sprinklers.

In November, an Urbandale Board of Appeals denied the developers’ request, recommending the code remain at 6,000 square feet. The city code was changed in 2007, requiring sprinkler systems for self-storage buildings from 6,000 square feet or greater. Any facilities built before 2007 are not required to add a sprinkler system.

The council received a petition earlier this week signed by 61 residents and five businesses near the property against the change. The petition asked Urbandale Mayor Bob Andeweg to veto the council’s decision if the third reading is passed at the next council meeting on Feb. 8.


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