Self-storage real estate investment trust (REIT) CubeSmart has received a special exemption for five proposed signs at its new corporate headquarters in East Whiteland, Pa. The zoning board approved the company’s application with the condition that one sign facing a nearby residential community be reduced from 50 to 35 square feet and illuminated signs be turned off by 9 p.m., according to Lou Colagreco, an attorney for the REIT. Residents in opposition to the signage have threatened to appeal the decision in Chester County Court.
Neighboring residents have spoken in opposition to the development project for months. Chief among the complaints is the area has been rezoned since CubeSmart received approval in 2006 for the building’s land-development plan. At the time, the region was zoned for commercial use. Since then, it has been rezoned for multi-family residences and is near the historic General Warren Village, a master-planned community.
The 82,000-square-foot complex at 5 Old Lancaster Road is set to house 160 corporate employees and offer more than 200 storage units for rent. CubeSmart is relocating from Wayne, Pa., and began construction at the site in October 2012.
Colagreco has argued that the property’s previous zoning allowed for no more than four signs exceeding 5 square feet, with the maximum square footage for any one sign limited to 50 square feet. CubeSmart’s application had five signs larger than 5 square feet and a wall sign facing Route 30 that was more than 80 square feet, according to the source.
During a previous board of supervisors meeting, township manager Terry Woodman said signage was not part of the land-development plan, and CubeSmart would have to comply with current zoning or receive a special exemption or variance from the zoning hearing board.
At a September zoning hearing, CubeSmart officials said the company redesigned two signs to look “less corporate” after meeting with residents, the source reported.
Residents have also complained about light emanating from the glass building and parking lot late at night. Jeffrey Lee, who lives across the street from the property, said he has seen people working inside the building until 1 a.m.
CubeSmart owns or manages 518 self-storage facilities across the United States and operates the CubeSmart Network, which consists of more than 700 additional self-storage facilities.