Update 5/7/15 – The Frontenac, Kan., City Council has denied the Countryside Self Storage application for a special-use permit and rezoning of two privately owned lots adjacent to its property along Kennedy Street. The council listened to arguments from Countryside and residents before rejecting the application in a 6-2 vote.
The council delayed making a decision on the application last month to give Countryside time to reach a compromise with residents who strongly opposed the project. “Since that time, one of the neighbors and I spoke on the phone and traded some e-mails back and forth and tried to come up with a compromise to the plan,” Curt Frazier, co-owner of Countryside, told the council. “I think, in the end, we just agreed to disagree.”
Countryside did agree to retract certain areas of its plan, but Frazier said residential concerns regarding increased traffic were unwarranted, the source reported. The self-storage operator also argued the project would increase property values and the tax base, which resident Matt Guthrie argued wasn’t true.
After Guthrie addressed the council, Frazier asked for a rebuttal, which was denied by Mayor Jim Kennedy. The council then voted down the application.
4/22/15 – Countryside Self Storage has applied for a special-use permit and rezoning of two privately owned lots adjacent to its property in Frontenac, Kan. The company intends to invest $400,000 in a 12,000-square-foot boat/RV-storage building and other improvements, according to the source. The planning and zoning commission has approved the permit and zoning request, but the city council opted not to vote on the proposal this week after hearing opposition from nearby residents.
“The building we’re proposing right now is a 50-by-240-foot building that would be a three-sided structure where your typical user or tenant would be like a boat or an RV. We’re looking at 20 spaces in there,” Curt Frazier, co-owner of Countryside, told the council. “We intend to take this from a low-class self-storage facility that’s operating maybe 70 percent occupancy to one that is very well-maintained. We’re looking to invest in the community. It’s going to increase the real estate taxes, which I think is a plus from the community standpoint.”
More than a dozen residents attended the council meeting to protest the expansion project. Some were worried about the possible devaluation of their property, while others were concerned about the impact of new lighting, increased traffic and a perimeter chain-link fence with barbed wire, the source reported.
Frazier admitted he hadn’t conferred with residents about the design plans of the project, when asked by councilmember Ethan Spurling. “I did not, and the reason that we did not is because the main facility right now is an illegally permissible use,” Frazier said. “My understanding is we can fence the main facility right now, but as far as the request to rezone the east or the west, no.”
The council deferred a decision on the proposal until May 4 to give Countryside and residents time to find a compromise, the source reported.
Countryside is a family-owned business with three self-storage facilities in Kansas and Missouri. Its sister company, Elm Street Warehousing, provides nearly 100,000 square feet of storage in Pittsburg, Kan.