City Council Approves Access Point for Self-Storage Project Bordering Ohio City, Township

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Update 10/17/14 – The Pickerington, Ohio, City Council unanimously approved the Spring Creek Drive access point for the Storage One Self-Storage development site that shares a border with Violet Township. The Pickerington approval was necessary because the city owns and maintains the street, which is considered the project’s most viable access point.

However, Pickerington officials approved the access permit on the condition that Storage One revise its site plan to meet the city’s setback rules for landscape buffers between commercial and residential properties, according to the source. Storage One officials agreed to alter landscaping plans along the south side of the property and were open to planting arborvitae at the city’s suggestion, said Joe Henderson, Pickerington’s development services director.

The change to the site plan means Storage One must go back to the Violet Township Board of Zoning Appeals for approval. A public hearing to address the modifications was scheduled for Thursday.


5/23/14 – A conditional-use permit and five variance requests for a proposed Storage One Self-Storage development on the border of Pickerington, Ohio, and Violet Township have been approved by the town’s Board of Zoning Appeals. The permit will allow Storage One to operate a 10-building storage facility on 7.6 acres of a 10.4-acre plot owned by Sybil Heim.

The board approved the company’s request for a lot-size variance, permission to deviate from required setbacks, allowance of onsite auctions and to increase the permissible building height. It also allowed relief from loading-space requirements.

The decision came despite continued vocal opposition from the residents of the Spring Creek subdivision. Storage One still must receive township approval for additional zoning and building permits, according to Benjamin King, Violet Township’s director of operations.

There may also be a hurdle regarding access to the facility, which would be off of Spring Creek Drive, which is owned and maintained by Pickerington. Violet Township officials have said the developers should have right of access on the street stemming from a 1996 agreement and approved as part of a 2004 annexation. Pickerington officials disagree, arguing access would require the city’s permission based on the Ohio Revised Code.

“No one has requested access to Spring Creek Drive, and no one has produced any agreement that allows this property in the township to access Spring Creek Drive,” said Bill Vance, Pickerington city manager.


5/1/14 – Variance requests for a proposed Storage One Self-Storage development on the border of Pickerington, Ohio, and Violet Township are scheduled to be discussed tonight by the Violet Township Board of Zoning Appeals as part of a hearing continuance from April 24. The board opted to continue the hearing last week after only one of five variances were discussed before a 10 p.m. deadline.

During the April 24 meeting, Storage One presented its case for a conditional-use permit that would enable the company to develop a 10-building, 97,000-square-foot facility on the southeast corner of Milnor and Refugee Roads. The company was represented by attorney Jeffrey Vanderoot and manager Jayme Gates.

The self-storage facility would be built on 7.6 acres of a 10.4-acre lot. Storage One plans to include future retail space on the remaining portion of the property, according to the source. The Violet Township Board of Trustees last month approved a zoning change on the 7.6 acres to limited commercial. Self-storage use on the property requires a conditional-use permit.

Storage One is also requesting a lot-size variance, permission to deviate from required setbacks, allowance of onsite auctions and to increase the permissible building height. It has also asked the township to waive the requirement for loading spaces.

Approximately 45 people attended the April 24 hearing, which had been moved to a larger venue due to public interest in the development. Residents from the Spring Creek subdivision continued to express their concerns about increased traffic, noise, light pollution, potential for crime and possible impact on property values.

Tonight’s meeting will be held in the zoning board’s administrative office. Peter Griggs, legal counsel for the township, said the board could go behind closed doors to discuss the variance requests before rendering a decision.


4/25/14 – A proposed Storage One Self-Storage development on the border of Pickerington, Ohio, and Violet Township cleared a major hurdle last week when township trustees voted unanimously to approve the rezoning of 7.6 acres of a 10-acre parcel to limited commercial. The storage operator intends to build a 10-building, 97,000-square-foot facility on the southeast corner of Milnor and Refugee Roads.

The zoning was approved despite organized protests from neighboring residents, particularly those living in the Spring Cook subdivision. The community is part of a section of land annexed by Pickerington in 2004.

Storage One must still receive approval for a lot-size variance and other building requests. There may also be a hurdle regarding access to the facility, which would be off of Spring Creek Drive, which is owned and maintained by Pickerington.

Violet Township Trustee Terry Dunlap Sr. said the developers should have right of access on the street stemming from a 1996 agreement and approved as part of the 2004 annexation. Pickerington officials disagree, arguing access would require the city’s permission based on the Ohio Revised Code.

"If Violet Township has the 1996 agreement or any other agreement which provides the township access to this city street, then why don't they just produce it?" asked Bill Vance, Pickerington city manager.

"Applicable case law indicates that there is a primary right of ownership for an abutting property to access to and from a public street from said parcel and that access cannot be denied without compensation," said Greg Butcher, Violet Township engineer.


4/10/14 – Residential opposition to a proposed Storage One Self-Storage development in Pickerington, Ohio, continued during a two-hour Violet Township rezoning hearing on April 2. The hearing was focused on the company’s request to have 7.6 acres of its property rezoned as limited commercial, which is considered a separate matter from the lot-size variance and other building requests filed by the company.

Residents from the Spring Creek subdivision reiterated their concerns about increased traffic, noise and light pollution, and argued the facility would add little value to the community, according to the source.

A small contingent of citizens also spoke in favor of the project. "This is the least intrusive thing they could put on this corner,” said resident Rocco Sabatino. “This will not impact anyone's property values negatively."

Storage One attorney Jeffrey Vandervoort argued that changing the parcel’s commercial classification was “not a significant impact,” and self-storage was consistent with Violet Township’s land-use plan.

"Storage One plans to build a first-class storage facility, with minimal or no impact on the surrounding properties," he said, adding that it would bring more than $56,000 in annual tax dollars to the township.

The Board of Trustees did not make a decision during the hearing but must do so within 20 days, according to the source.


3/26/14 – Residential opposition to a proposed Storage One Self-Storage development in Pickerington, Ohio, was so strong during a public hearing on March 20, city officials are trying to secure a larger venue for a follow-up meeting. No decisions were made during the first hearing, which could not accommodate an overflow crowd, according to the source.

Resident Mark Vanderhoff circulated a petition opposing the project and got 58 signatures from neighboring residents. Most of the voiced opposition during the hearing was related to lighting, noise, safety and traffic concerns. Vanderhoff said the development would bring a "transient" feel to the neighborhood, while neighbor Chuck Lockard feared the storage facility could hurt property values, the source reported.

Storage One Manager Jayme Gates argued the facility would have a low traffic impact, generating about 14 vehicles per day in and out of the property. She also said the majority of customers would come from the surrounding neighborhoods. "Over 80 percent of our visitors live within a three-mile radius, so we serve a direct need," she said. "They absolutely live in the area. 'Transient' would be a very poor description; these are not outsiders to our community."

Storage One owns four additional Ohio facilities of comparable size which have not generated complaints due to lighting, traffic or noise, Gates said. "We pride ourselves on being active and supportive of the community," she commented. "We want to be a good neighbor."

Although the Board of Zoning Appeals has not yet scheduled a second public hearing on Storage One’s variance application, the Violet Township Board of Trustees will hold its meeting as scheduled on April 2 to discuss the company’s request to have 7.6 acres of the property rezoned as limited commercial. The rezoning request is considered a separate matter from the lot-size variance and other building requests filed by Storage One.


3/12/14 – A proposed self-storage development in Pickerington, Ohio, may face opposition from residents on March 20 during a Violet Township Board of Zoning Appeals meeting. Community members are vowing to fight the variance application filed by  Storage One Self-Storage to develop a facility at the corner of  Milnor and Refugee roads, an unincorporated area of Violet Township, according to the source.

The proposed development is more than twice the size currently allowed under the township’s zoning laws, which limits self-storage to 3 acres. Storage One is seeking a variance to expand to 7.6 acres on a 10-acre plot owned by Sybil Heim. The lot is adjacent to the Spring Creek Colony condominiums and Spring Creek housing subdivision.

The variance application only applies to the 7.6-acre parcel, which is in the township’s Planned Residential Development District. The remaining acreage is part of the Spring Creek Preliminary Plan and is not being considered for rezoning because the township has it earmarked for the development of a multi-tenant commercial building, Kelly Sarko, the township’s chief zoning inspector, told the source.

The parcel slated for self-storage development will also need to be rezoned from Planned Development to C-2 Limited Commercial. The Violet Township Board of Trustees will consider the rezoning on April 2.

In addition to the lot-size variance, Storage One is requesting permission to deviate from required setbacks, allow onsite auctions and increase the building height. It is also asking the township to waive the requirement for loading spaces. The proposed development includes 10 buildings in varying lengths.

Letters were mailed to more than 200 residents who live within 500 feet of Heim’s property, according to Sarko. Resident Mark Vanderhoff told the source the proposed self-storage development isn’t a good fit for the area. Opponents are reportedly also concerned about traffic, noise and light pollution from the facility.

The Fairfield County Regional Planning Commission recommended the rezoning on Feb. 6, determining it fit with the commercial-type use outlined in the Violet Township Land Use Plan.

Family owned and operated, Storage One has four locations in Canal Winchester, Pickerington and Whitehall, Ohio.

 

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