Use Permit for Self-Storage Expansion Project Denied in South Middleton Township, PA

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Update 9/16/14 – The proposed expansion of Midway Self Storage and Car Wash in South Middleton Township, Pa., is in jeopardy after the board of supervisors denied a conditional-use request to add commercial-trailer storage. Premier Trailer Leasing of Texas is interested in becoming a tenant on two sub-lots of 6.1 and 3.3 acres, with access off Midway Drive, according to the source.

The 6.1-acre parcel is already paved and used for boat/RV storage, but Midway owner Group & Group Excavating LP sought permission to change the use to allow up to 150 empty commercial trailers available for rent. The self-storage operator wanted permission to pave the undeveloped 3.3 acre parcel behind Midway Bowling Center to store an additional 100 empty trailers, according to the source. Paving the lot would have required a land-development plan.

Jim Hughes, an attorney with Group & Group, said he would recommend the company file a lawsuit against the township after the request was denied. “We strongly disagree with their interpretation of their own ordinance,” he told the source. “Certainly [Premier] is a good business that was going to come into town. That business probably won’t happen. We would have to go through the appeal process and let the courts make a decision.”

Group & Group could pursue a zoning variance, but Hughes indicated that would be a waste of time and resources based on the opinions of board members. Alternative uses for the two parcels is limited due to the lack of public water and sewer to the tract, he said.

In making a motion to deny the request, supervisor Rick Reighard said the developer’s presentation and arguments in favor of the conditional-use permit were disingenuous, calling some of the testimony from experts “really over the top.” “I cannot accept the testimony and interpretations as accurate,” Reighard said. “Arguments that this use is compatible with other uses have been very creative ... stretching meanings and definitions.”

Four of the five supervisors voted against the request, with one abstaining due to a conflict of interest.


8/14/14 – The South Middleton Township, Pa., Board of Supervisors will hold a conditional-use hearing on Thursday to discuss a proposed expansion of Midway Self Storage and Car Wash. Submitted by Group & Group Excavating LP, the project would add commercial-trailer storage and leasing services and increase Midway’s footprint to 32 acres. Midway would add two parcels estimated at 6.1 and 3.3 acres.

The self-storage facility at 1545 Holly Pike is between Carlisle and Mount Holly, Pa., on Route 34. It currently offers more than 700 units as well as boat/RV storage. The land for the proposed expansion is already zoned commercial and is surrounded by commercial and agricultural zoning, according to the source.

The township’s planning commission addressed the project on June 17 and recommended the board deny the conditional-use permit until zoning issues were addressed. The commission and some residents have expressed concerns regarding traffic along Holly Pike, and officials also cited stormwater management as a potential problem, the source reported.

Sources:

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