Benton, Arkansas, officials are considering an alteration to the city’s zoning structure that would reclassify self-storage as C2, which is a conditional use. If passed, the change would require that any new developments receive approval from the planning and zoning commission as well as the city council. Now a C3 designation, self-storage is currently allowed by right. Reclassification wouldn’t affect projects targeted for industrial areas, regardless of class, according to the source.
“This came about in many conversations the mayor (Tom Farmer) and I have had over the past few months,” said Brad Jordan, Benton’s community and economic development director. “It really stemmed from the fact that, more and more, we’re seeing mini-storage, RV storage, all sorts of storage, coming into our city. To me, and the mayor does agree with this, it is taking up valuable commercial real estate that could be an economic-development boom for the city.”
Jordan and Farmer believe self-storage generates a low number of jobs compared to other commercial uses, making it less attractive economically, particularly as commercial real estate in the city has become less readily available. They believe reclassifying self-storage to C2 will give officials more control over where future projects are placed. Other forthcoming changes could include guidelines for facility design, the source reported.
On July 6, the planning and zoning commission unanimously approved a motion to begin the formal process of changing the zoning designation. A public hearing to discuss the issue will be held on July 26 before a regularly scheduled city council meeting.
The Saline Courier, Benton Considers Change Limiting Storage Units