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Conditional Zoning Proposed for Self-Storage Developments in East Rutherford, NJ

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Update 11/29/17 – East Rutherford officials have proposed new zoning regulations that would make self-storage an allowed conditional use in the borough’s I Light Industrial District. Language in the district’s current land-use code is ambiguous in relation to self-storage, so the proposal would set development conditions and design standards, according to the source.

The zoning district comprises what’s known locally as the Murray Hill Parkway Corridor, extending east of Dubois Street and north toward Manor Road. Part of the borough’s reasoning to define self-storage as a conditional use is to ease the permitting for the “re-purposing of abandoned or underutilized industrial spaces” in the district, the source reported.

New self-storage facilities in the district would have a minimum lot size of 175,000 square feet. New structures would have to be designed to look like multi-family or office buildings, with height restricted to four stories. To ensure structures blend aesthetically with nearby residences, design standards would also be established for exterior windows, façades, fencing and walls, landscaping, and other elements.

Conditions would also extend to facility operation, including a provision prohibiting units from being used for “residences, office space, workshops, studios, hobbies, retail or rehearsal areas,” according to the source. Self-storage sites would also have to be closed between midnight and 6 a.m., except for rental-truck drop-offs and “restricted, tenant-only access.”

Projects proposed with ingress or egress from a state highway would have facility access restricted to and from the highway, with traffic circulation prohibited from non-highway streets, the source reported.

A public hearing on the zoning proposal is scheduled for Dec. 19.


11/30/15 – A new ordinance introduced Nov. 16 by the mayor and city council in East Rutherford, N.J., adds several regulations to self-storage developments and restricts facilities to state highways, according to the source. A site-plan review is now required for new construction and expansion projects. Restrictions include the prohibition of electrical outlets inside units and a ban on operating hours between midnight and 6 a.m. The ordinance also limits building height to “60 feet from Route 17 elevation” and five stories. One parking space will be required per 17,000 square feet.

The new rules also impose restrictions on construction materials and design. The ordinance prohibits prefabricated buildings, unfaced concrete block, tilt-up and precast concrete panels, and painted masonry, according to the source. Barbed-wire and chain-link fences are also banned, along with walls constructed of recast concrete blocks.

Facilities must use design features common to commercial and/or multi-family developments. The ordinance cites examples for exterior building materials and detailing, façade modulation, fenestration, massing, pedestrian scale, proportion, repetition and varied roof lines, the source reported.

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