Guardian Storage, which operates 15 self-storage facilities in Colorado and Pennsylvania, is facing opposition in its quest to tear down a vacant building and construct a four-story storage facility in Dormont, Pa. The zoning board approved one special exception for the project last week but has yet to rule on several variance requests from the storage operator. A second hearing will be held on May 7.
The proposed storage facility would encompass most of the block across from the intersection of Pioneer and West Liberty avenues, according to the source. Guardian would tear down the former PNC bank and erect a new storage building with an addition overlooking the road. The development would also include parking and a loading area under an overhang portion of the building closer to Potomac Avenue, the source reported.
To fit on the urban plot, Guardian needs several variances and zoning exceptions. The variances include the need to exceed various limits on lot coverage, minimum distances from adjacent structures, minimum front and rear yards, and an exception to the height limit of three stories and 45 feet. The zoning meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the city’s council chambers at the borough building. If the board grants the exceptions and variances, the project will still require the council's approval to obtain building permits.
Residents opposed to the project have voiced their concerns about increased traffic, the demolition of historic buildings, and whether storage is the right business for the borough’s main district. Some business owners are also against the proposal. Vicki Lawhorne, co-owner of the Dor-Stop Restaurant, which is at the rear of the development site, told the source a storage facility won’t bring more business to the area.
Founded in 1987, Guardian Storage owns or manages three self-storage facilities in the Denver metro area and 12 in Greater Pittsburgh, with a total of approximately 1 million square feet of storage space and more than 10,000 units.