Lorain Self Storage received approval on Jan. 27 from the North Olmstead, Ohio, Department of Planning and Development, despite opposition from self-storage real estate investment trust CubeSmart, which owns an adjacent property. A house currently occupies the property at 24002 Lorain Road, which is next to the CubeSmart facility at 24000 Lorain Road. The site is “split-zoned” for general retail and a single residence, according to Kim Wenger, the city’s planning director. The zoning code doesn't specifically list self-storage as a permitted use but also doesn’t prohibit it.
"We are concerned, based on our preliminary research, that this particular use does not conform to the zoning regulations as amended after 1987," said Brodie Butland, the attorney representing CubeSmart. "We want to make sure that our rights are preserved ... and not prejudiced to contest this later on."
Butland’s request to temporarily table the proposal was denied. Members voted 5-0 to recommend the city council approve the development. Commission chairman Greg Malone suggested Butland appeal to the city council if CubeSmart wants to pursue its objection. The REIT has yet to decide if it will address the council, Butland said.
The board of zoning appeals considered a case in 1987 in which an applicant requested a similar use determination, according to the source. The board determined self-storage is a permitted use in the general retail-business district, Wenger said. "Staff continues to support that this use is permitted.”
The storage development will include three buildings, one of which will have three stories. The design will be aesthetically pleasing, according to Peter Stuhlreyer, founder of Designhaus Architecture. "There's no line of sight onto the property from the neighbors. Lighting will be maintained at a level that keeps the neighborhood from being bothered by the site at all," Stuhlreyer said.
CubeSmart owns or manages 629 self-storage facilities across the United States. Its operating portfolio comprises 42 million square feet.