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Ahwatukee, AZ, Planning Committee Debates Self-Storage Height Restrictions, Security Requirements

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With the Ahwatukee, Ariz., Planning Commission scheduled to address longstanding self-storage regulations pertaining to height restrictions and security requirements today, the Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee has recommended against increasing the maximum allowable building height from 24 to 30 feet. The committee also debated whether to eliminate the municipal requirement for a 24-hour guard at storage facilities during a recent meeting, according to the source.

Though city planning staff recommended allowing self-storage facilities the same 30-foot restriction applied to most other commercial buildings, the committee preferred that storage developers continue to seek a variance, the source reported. Adam Stranieri, a liaison with the planning and development department, told committee members that most developers have received variance approval to reach 30 feet, but the process typically adds four to six weeks to their project timelines.

The height issue was recently contended by self-storage developer 1784 Capital Holdings, which received approval last year for a nearly 104,000-square-foot facility. The developer will build a three-story facility by placing one floor below grade level.

Stranieri also argued that the rule requiring self-storage facilities have a guard present 24 hours per day is outdated due to modern door locks and camera systems. Committee members were hesitant to remove the rule, fearing its absence could lead to storage units being “used for alcohol and drug-fueled parties,” the source reported.

Though committee member Mike Schiller indicated he had knowledge of self-storage facilities in the Phoenix area being used for drug trafficking and parties, the committee recommended the rule be modified to require 24-hour “monitored surveillance,” according to the source.

The planning commission is not bound to abide by the committee’s recommendations.

Sources:

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