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Self-Storage Operators in Miami-Dade County, FL, Could Face New Painting, Window Requirements

Update 2/22/19 – Miami-Dade County officials have postponed a hearing on possible changes to self-storage painting and window schemes. Commissioner Jean Monestime, the primary sponsor of the measure, agreed to a voluntary deferral “following sustained opposition from the self-storage community,” SSA officials said in a Feb. 18 newsletter to association members. The SSA and FSSA expect to meet with Monestime. A rescheduled hearing could occur in March.


2/13/19 – Officials in Miami-Dade County, Fla., are considering an ordinance that would require all self-storage facilities to adhere to strict rules for paint schemes and window treatments. The provision would mandate that exterior walls and trim be painted in “subtle, earth-toned, neutral or historical colors from a major paint manufacturer’s historical palette.” Enforcement of the ordinance would apply to new and existing self-storage businesses, with current, nonconforming properties given 24 months to comply. Operators who don’t comply would face up to $1,200 in penalties.

The ordinance would also require that new facilities be fenestrated with windows on at least 30 percent of all exterior walls that face a street. Mirror surfaces on windows would be prohibited, and all glazing would have to enable a “view of human activities and spaces within the building.”

In the stated reasoning for the measure, county officials said, “some existing self-service mini-warehouse facilities have been painted bright, jarring colors that make them a visual focal point and eyesore to active commercial corridors, thereby detracting from the aesthetics of the areas in which they are located,”

The ordinance is opposed by the Florida Self Storage Association (FSSA) and the national Self Storage Association (SSA), who have criticized it as “an example of extreme government overreach.” “The proposed ordinance fails to consider businesses that have spent considerable funds on painting their facilities in accordance with all relevant rules and regulations at the time and could lead to regulatory taking claims by property owners,” association officials wrote in a joint document outlining industry concerns.

The associations also object to prohibiting self-storage businesses “from using their legal branding and trade-dress elements, such as distinct coloring of storage-unit doors, without sufficient justification.” The windows requirement could pose a security risk, they argued.

Association officials criticized the county for considering the ordinance without input from affected businesses and called for the county to delay a Feb. 12 hearing in which the measure was scheduled to be considered by the county commission’s Infrastructure & Capital Improvements Committee.

In a Feb. 11 newsletter to association members, the SSA encouraged affected operators to attend Tuesday’s commission hearing to voice concerns during the period for public comment. There are 227 self-storage facilities in the county.

Sources:
The Monday Morning Globe 2/18/19, Legislative Update: Hearing on Miami-Dade Ordinance Is Delayed
SSA, Social Equity Statement for Ordinance Relating Architectural Style and Color Regulations
SSA, Joint Document Outlining Ordinance Concerns
The Monday Morning Globe 2/11/19, New Painting Requirements Are Proposed in Miami-Dade County

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