A rezoning request to build a self-storage facility on four lots in the Stone Pillar neighborhood of Mason City, Iowa, was unanimously rejected this week by the planning and zoning commission. The recommendation to deny the request agreed with the conclusion of city staff and will be passed to the city council, which will make a formal decision on the matter on July 2.
The area is currently zoned for residential use, and the request to change the specific lots to multi-use would allow self-storage but with “stiff limitations,” such as the appearance of the storage units, according to a proposed development agreement. The zoning request was made by Ryan Hanig, a local contractor.
The commission recommended against the proposal in part due to concerns about the ability to defend the zoning against legal challenges, according to the source. The proposed area is deep within the subdivision as opposed to being visible from a street with heavy traffic.
“If these were units located on the edge of a neighborhood, facing a busy road, we would be having an entirely different discussion,” City Planner Tricia Sandahl said.
About 30 residents spoke during the meeting, mostly in opposition to the request. Concerns ranged from the facility’s effect on property values to increased traffic and crime. Resident Jeff Bray said he liked the idea of having self-storage in the neighborhood as a way to get boats, RVs and other vehicles off the streets.