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Lincolnwood, IL, Permanently Bans Self-Storage From Commercial Zoning Districts

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Update 12/19/16 – After a five-month study to learn how neighboring municipalities handle zoning for self-storage, Lincolnwood officials have passed a zoning change that bans new self-storage and warehouse developments from opening within its commercial zoning districts. The village board unanimously passed the measure, which removes self-storage as an allowable use within areas zoned for manufacturing/business and office uses, according to the source.

Lincolnwood officials studied how self-storage is zoned in eight nearby communities. "In most of the communities, [storage facilities] are in industrial hubs, in areas that are completely disconnected from the major commercial corridor or commercial downtown; but that's a different story in Lincolnwood where the [manufacturing] districts are adjacent to the commercial areas," McNellis told the source.

As a result of the zoning configuration, self-storage had been permitted in the middle of commercial zones, but Lincolnwood wants to reserve its main arterial streets for other types of businesses that generate more sales-tax revenue for the city, McNellis said.


6/13/16 – Officials in Lincolnwood, Ill., have enacted a one-year, temporary ban on self-storage development in the village’s commercial areas to preserve space for businesses that generate more tax revenue, according to the source. Recent interest from self-storage developers prompted the decision, which was made last week during a Committee of the Whole meeting. The moratorium will prevent self-storage from being built in districts zoned for manufacturing/business and office use.

The restrictions apply primarily to open commercial land along North Ciero, North Lincoln, West Devon and West Touhy Avenues. At least one self-storage developer had been looking at a property on one of those streets for a possible project, according to community-development director Steve McNellis. The village currently has three self-storage facilities within its boundaries.

During the ban, village officials will examine how other municipalities regulate self-storage and could decide to make permanent changes to the zoning code. "No one is saying at this point that self-storage facilities shouldn't be permitted," McNellis told the source. "The point is maybe they shouldn't be permitted on major commercial corridors."

In April, the village considered levying a self-storage tax as a way to generate additional local tax revenue and help offset a $260,000 shortfall from the state this year. Although officials postponed a decision, they estimated a tax on rental facilities could generate up to $235,000 in annual tax revenue, the source reported.

Although the three self-storage facilities currently operating in the village paid a combined $267,680 in property taxes in 2014, just 10 percent of that amount went to Lincolnwood, according to the Cook County, Ill., tax assessor.

Several years ago, Lincolnwood officials imposed a similar ban on bank development along Lincoln Avenue until zoning changes were implemented, the source reported.

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