The Fluvanna County, Va., Board of Supervisors narrowly denied a rezoning request last week from Fluvanna Self Storage owner Carlos Burns, who wanted to expand his facility. The Burns family purchased property within walking distance of the current facility at 21 Burns Plaza in Palmyra, Va., with the intent to build two storage buildings and reserve space for future development. The board rejected the proposal with a 3-2 vote after determining the project would negatively impact residents who would’ve been flanked by the storage buildings, according to the source.
Burns told supervisors the self-storage business needs to expand because the current facility is near full capacity and has been turning away prospective tenants. Two residents spoke in opposition to the project, arguing the storage buildings would create noise and encroach on their front yards. They also objected to the lighting that would be created at night.
Burns planned to plant Leyland Cyprus trees to create a visual buffer between the self-storage facility and residences, and noted the property would be “dark-sky compliant.” He estimated daily traffic between two and 12 vehicles. “If anything else goes in there, [the neighbors] are going to have more traffic, more noise and more light,” he told the board.
Though the expansion property is zoned for agricultural use, supervisor Trish Eager argued the business use was in line with the county’s comprehensive plan for the Rivanna community. “It seems that this is where we want business, and of all businesses, this is pretty low-impact,” Eager said during the meeting. “I think there is a possibility that there could be a whole lot more traffic with another use. I think storage units are not a large use.”
Supervisor Tony O’Brien also supported the rezoning application, noting the board needed to consider the rights of the property owner as well as neighboring residents. “[Burns] has made solid efforts to address the concerns of the neighbors,” O’Brien said. “I think it’s a negative message for us to deny an application just because some surrounding neighbors would be affected. When we designate growth areas that’s going to be part of it.”
Fluvanna Self Storage has served Fluvanna County residents since 1992.
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