The owners of Southside Mini Storage in Greenville, Tenn., are facing opposition from residents in their quest to expand their property. After several people spoke against the project during a May 10 public hearing, the Greene County Regional Planning Commission voted 7-2 to recommend the Greene County Commission reject the rezoning request made by Robert and Carolyn Ball. The couple hoped to have two parcels near their property at 35 E. Allens Bridge Road rezoned so they could build additional units.
Built in 1998, the facility was grandfathered in under the county’s current zoning, according to the source. The lots in question are zoned for general agriculture (A-1), not general business (B-1). As such, storage is now considered a "non-conforming use.”
Residents living near the facility at the intersection of the Asheville Highway and East Allens Bridge Road opposed the rezoning because of what could be developed on the property should the Balls ever sell it. In addition to storage yards and buildings, other uses permitted under the general-business zoning include hotels and motels, multi-family residences, offices, restaurants, and retail.
"My concern is not what was on the property when I bought [my house], it's the potential of what can be put on the property once it is rezoned to B-2," said Adam Hansel, whose home is across the street from Southside Mini Storage. Hansel presented the planning commission with a petition containing 30 signatures to oppose the rezoning. "I do not want my children to grow up with a dollar store or a pawn shop sitting in my front yard," he said.
The addition of more storage units might also lead to increased traffic, said Hansel and Dan Richardson, another resident. "All of these residents in this entire area keep their places looking immaculate," Richardson said. "This is a prime area here. Now we're talking about putting commercial right in the middle of it."
Resident Lori Vaughters expressed concerns about additional lighting and how the expansion would affect the property value of her home, which is currently for sale. "So we're not thrilled with the devaluation of our property to have commercial property across the street," she said.
Robert Ball argued the new units wouldn’t increase traffic. The lots would be fenced, and the expansion would improve the storage property.
Residents Kathryn Sanders and Patricia Lockwood claimed they moved to the area to avoid the lights, noise and traffic that are more prevalent in the town. "I don't want to live next door to a place with a fence around it and another big building. That's not why I moved there, either,” Lockwood said.
Tim Tweed, building official for Greene County, noted there are commercial-like uses permitted in general agriculture districts as well.
After the discussion, planning commission member Gwen Lilley moved that the commission recommend the rezoning request be granted. It was seconded by panel member Stevi King, but failed.
The Greene County Commission will consider the planning commission's recommendation in June. A public hearing will also be held at that time.
- The Greenville Sun: Business Owner, Homeowners Disagree Over Storage Facility Zoning Change