Proposed Self-Storage Development Denied in Marco Island, FL

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City zoning officials in Marco Island, Fla., voted 5-1 Friday against a proposed zoning amendment that would enable Progressive Auto Storage to add traditional self-storage units to its vehicle-storage business. The request for a C-4 zoning district was opposed by two neighboring self-storage operators. Self-storage is currently only permitted in the city’s C-5 zones. It was the second reading for the request, following the board’s unanimous denial during the first reading on April 5.

Progressive Auto Owner Mike Kelly Jr. asked the zoning board via e-mail on Thursday to reschedule the second reading because his attorney wasn’t available to attend. He asked for a continuance to June 7 so he would have legal representation at the meeting. Two self-storage owners, Mario Rizzi of Rizzi’s Storage and Jerry Helms of Marco Island Storage, have retained attorney Douglas Lewis of The Lewis Law Firm to represent their interests. The self-storage businesses are in C-5 zones. During discussions about continuing the vote, the board determined a continuance wasn’t necessary, as Kelly’s zoning request will have two more readings before the city council.

Progressive Auto Storage is a five-story, 156,000-square-foot building. The company would designate two stories to traditional self-storage. Buildings operating in the C-5 zone, which includes self-storage, are limited to two stories. Progressive Auto’s location is currently zoned C-4, which allows motor-vehicle storage.

Those in opposition of the zoning change told the board Progressive Auto would have an unfair advantage in the market if the zoning request was approved. Lewis said the change would have an economic impact on the C-5 district in which land to develop self-storage is still available. He also said the zoning change would alter the look of the C-4 zones if self-storage was allowed. During his argument, Lewis mentioned the petition with signatures of 38 owners of C-5 properties who oppose Kelly’s zoning request.

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