Self-Storage Developer Battles Officials in Laramie County, WY

Self-Storage developer Scott Johnson and Laramie County, Wyo., planners are at odds over a storage facility Johnson wants to build on a 2-acre parcel on Southwest Drive near Cheyenne. While Johnson received a planned urban development (PUD) agreement with the county to build his desired project on the property, officials have objected to his insistence on including a U-Haul truck-rental business.

Self-Storage developer Scott Johnson and Laramie County, Wyo., planners are at odds over a storage facility Johnson wants to build on a 2-acre parcel on Southwest Drive near Cheyenne. While Johnson received a planned urban development (PUD) agreement with the county to build his desired project on the property, officials have objected to his insistence on including a U-Haul truck-rental business.

While the PUD allows for the construction of self-storage on the site, it expressly prohibits outdoor storage and all other commercial business types, according to the source. County planners deem the truck-rental business a separate commercial use on the property, while Johnson believes it should be approved as part of the self-storage business plan.

"I can't compete if I can't offer the same services that other storage facilities in the county offer," Johnson told the source.

Johnson has argued that the U-Haul rental component was part of his plan when he applied for the initial PUD more than a year ago. He told the source he has worked with four individual planners since he started the approval process, and he believes some of the details have been lost due to departmental turnover.

"It has been an administrative nightmare," he said. "The churn in the department is a major cause of this issue. All my intentions were known by people who have either passed away or are no longer with the county."

County officials contend Johnson made the process more difficult by not following recommendations to submit comments and updates together, choosing instead to “piecemeal” revised submissions, the source reported.

Johnson has applied for a temporary-use permit and requested a PUD modification that, if passed, would enable him to open the truck-rental business in conjunction with self-storage. The county planning commission will vote the requests in the coming months, according to the source.

Johnson called the process “cumbersome” and told the source he has considered selling the Wyoming property and starting his storage project in Colorado.

Sources:

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