Self-Storage Could Be Banned From Parts of Downtown Charleston, SC

Officials in Charleston, S.C., may tighten restrictions on self-storage, including banning the business use from its urban commercial district near downtown. The planning commission is expected to consider the action on Wednesday, along with reclassifying self-storage from a conditional use to a special exception in areas of the city zoned for general business, according to the source.

Officials in Charleston, S.C., may tighten restrictions on self-storage, including banning the business use from its urban commercial district near downtown. The planning commission is expected to consider the action on Wednesday, along with reclassifying self-storage from a conditional use to a special exception in areas of the city zoned for general business, according to the source.

The urban commercial district is a high-density residential area near the College of Charleston, which also includes some commercial development. "We don't want to see mini-warehouse facilities in or near our neighborhoods," planning director Jacob Lindsey told the source.

If the reclassification is approved, self-storage applications would first be heard by the board of zoning appeals, similar to those for auto-repair shops, gas stations and veterinary clinics, the source reported. The change would apply to all areas of the city classified for general business use.

City officials appear to be most concerned about self-storage encroaching on neighborhoods in West Ashley, an area Mayor John Tecklenburg has identified for revitalization, according to the source. "We are not targeting a specific property," Lindsey said. "It's more about West Ashley. We think you will see a lot more demand near neighborhoods, and we have seen an increase in interest in building mini-storage facilities across the city."

The city wants to protect against projects similar to a four-story self-storage facility built in 2013 in West Ashley. The St. Andrews Boulevard property was built outside the city limits and received harsh criticism from local residents, the source reported.

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