Update 7/24/14 – Developers of a Vallejo, Calif., self-storage facility have agreed to revise their plans after neighboring business owners continued to raise concerns about potential traffic, crime, and economic and aesthetic impact, according to the source. The city council approved zoning for the facility in April.
The proposed facility was designed to include 925 storage units on a 3.9-acre lot at the corner of Sonoma Boulevard and Solano Avenue in the South Vallejo Industrial Park. The layout includes three single-story buildings and a two-story structure. The city’s planning commission reviewed the project design earlier this week and said it wasn’t adequate for the visibility of the location.
"I think what we should be getting is a building that makes a statement as people start to enter the downtown," Commissioner Robert Schussel said. "And I think what the applicant has shown doesn't exemplify what Vallejo deserves."
As a compromise, the commission agreed to allow developers George Huff, owner of Veneto West LLC, and Ed Boersma, president of Cubix Construction Co., to use Sonoma Boulevard for the facility’s main entrance if they address landscaping, architectural and drainage issues.
4/24/14 – A self-storage developer in Vallejo, Calif., was granted zoning approval on April 22 to build in a business park once slated for research and development companies. The Vallejo City Council voted 4-to-3 to allow the facility to be constructed in the South Vallejo Industrial Park, which was built in 1980 and has access to Sonoma Boulevard and Interstate 780. The project faced opposition from nearby business owners and city council members who questioned how the park would benefit from storage.
Jack Anthony and his family purchased the land on the southeast corner of Sonoma Boulevard and Solano Avenue, the industrial park’s last large vacant lot, in 2004 specifically to develop self-storage, according to the source. The following year, the city council approved permits for the facility to be built; but due to financing struggles, the project was halted and the permits lapsed.
Shortly thereafter, the city’s planning commission approved a zoning change that barred self-storage in the industrial park. Last year, however, after Anthony approached city officials to resurrect the project, they discovered the change was never approved by council members.
City officials told the council they recommended approving the development, despite the planning commission’s recommendation last month to move forward with the ban. The mayor and three members voted in favor of the zoning change, while three others supported prohibiting storage in the industrial park because it wouldn’t create new jobs in the area. Council members also debated whether storage was the right purpose for the land, noting the city already has more than 10 storage facilities.
Several business owners also asked the council to reject the zoning change. Alex McDonald, principal of Envelope Products Co., said storage would not benefit the businesses already operating in the park. Tom Arie Donch, whose business Interplay Design is adjacent to the proposed storage site, told the council it would “tarnish the park's image.”
Council members also noted that the property’s proximity to a wastewater-treatment plant could deter other types of development.