Update 11/16/21 – The Beckley Common Council passed a new ordinance on Nov. 9 that requires a conditional-use permit for self-storage developments in B-1 (neighborhood-highway business) and B-2 (general business) districts. Self-storage will also be allowed in manufacturing districts, according to the source.
The final version of the ordinance excluded language that had originally addressed a proliferation of steel shipping containers in the city. The council removed that portion of the measure during a special workshop on Nov. 1, after members determined the restrictions on portable storage containers were too broad.
10/15/21 – The common council in Beckley, West Virginia, is creating new regulations to dictate where “permanent” and “temporary” self-storage units can be built. Members approved the first reading of a proposed ordinance this week that defines the two types and would restrict them both to B-1 and B-2 manufacturing zones. A permit will likely also be required, according to city attorney Bill File.
The zoning issue came to the council’s attention after code-enforcement officers told File they’re encountering more portable, steel storage units on private properties. If approved, the new measure will allow the city to limit where these units are placed and for how long, possibly 30 to 60 days.
City officials hope the decree will benefit existing self-storage businesses in the area. “The intent of the ordinance is to discourage people from using [portable storage units] as permanent storage units,” said Mayor Rob Rappold. “We have licensed storage units that aren't scattered, helter skelter, around town. We have a number of companies within the city limits who provide secure storage in a commercial manner.”
Regulating both types of storage will also lead to more purpose-driven development within the city, said councilmember Robert Dunlap. “We simply didn't have an ordinance that would regulate what parts of town those structures could be implemented in, and this was an opportunity to provide regulation.”
Ward also suggested that vacant buildings in manufacturing zones could be converted to indoor self-storage. “So many of these old buildings can be given new life if we can get the zoning codes caught up with this national trend,” Dunlap said. “We have to try to save some of these historical structures with potential new uses.”
The West Virginia Daily News, Beckley Passes Self-Storage Facility Ordinance, Much Discussed At Council Meeting
The Register Herald, Beckley Trying to Regulate Storage Units