Parents and community members in Rockville, Md., are circulating an online petition in opposition of a proposed self-storage development by ezStorage Corp., an operator with 45 facilities throughout Maryland and Virginia. The self-storage company filed an application with the city in May to build a facility at 1175 Taft St., within two blocks of Maryvale Elementary School. The four-story project would encompass 109,764 square feet of storage space, 900 units, 1,100 square feet of office space and a manager’s apartment.
The school’s PTA adopted a resolution after a pre-application community meeting on March 6. The resolution stated the members were not in favor of the development and encouraged the Rockville City Council and Rockville City Planning Commission to reject it.
The online petition, “Keep the Maryvale Elementary School Neighborhood Safe,” at MoveOn.org had accumulated 120 signatures as of May 1. The goal is 200 signatures.
Melissa McKenna, the PTA’s past president and current vice president of advocacy, wrote in an e-mail to board members that the community is concerned about student safety. The proposed site is on the corner of Taft and First streets, a busy intersection for the children walking to and from the school, according to McKenna.
“These facilities can increase large vehicle traffic, and invite unlawful activity and dangerous individuals and materials into school zones and neighborhoods,” the petition states. It also notes an alert from the national Self Storage Association and Department of Homeland Security in regard to the potential for illegal use of storage units in connection with terrorism. “Our school zone and family-neighborhood location is not appropriate for this facility,” it states.
A Rockville city planner told the source he expects the city planning commission to consider the storage proposal in August.
Based in Columbia, Md., and founded in 1987, ezStorage operates 39 self-storage facilities in Maryland and another six in Virginia.