Dickson, TN, Planning Commission Recommends Self-Storage Zoning Exception

Planning commissioners in Dickson, Tenn., have recommended the city council approve a zoning amendment that would allow climate-controlled and internal self-storage facilities in highway-commercial districts under a special-use permit or exception. Developer interest in building a climate-controlled facility on a triangular lot between Walmart and The Trails of Dickson, an apartment complex off of Beasley Drive, prompted officials to address the zoning change, according to the source.

Planning commissioners in Dickson, Tenn., have recommended the city council approve a zoning amendment that would allow climate-controlled and internal self-storage facilities in highway-commercial districts under a special-use permit or exception. Developer interest in building a climate-controlled facility on a triangular lot between Walmart and The Trails of Dickson, an apartment complex off of Beasley Drive, prompted officials to address the zoning change, according to the source.

Under current zoning, self-storage is a use under heavy commercial and warehousing districts. The target building site on Beasley Drive can’t be rezoned to a warehousing district because it’s considered a major arterial road, planning and zoning director Jason Pilkinton told the source.

The zoning amendment is advantageous for the city because self-storage has a low impact on traffic in retail areas but still would add revenue through building permits, taxes, etc., Pilkinton said.

The zoning-amendment draft approved on April 19 requires a public hearing and two readings by the city council. The planning commission recommended new language for the highway-commercial designation that defines commercial uses in the district and a subsection with 11 requirements self-storage facilities must meet to get a special-use permit, the source reported.

Among the new language is the addition of “internal self-storage,” which Pilkinton said would include climate-controlled space as well as traditional units accessed inside a structure, rather than drive-up, exterior units. “You could have a percentage inside that’s not climate-controlled but still internal storage,” he told the source.

Placing a special-permit on self-storage enables the zoning board of appeals to review each project individually. “They have to present the plan. They have to show the property, show their concept, show elevation, show how they’re going to construct it,” Pilkinton said. “There are special conditions to even obtain that special-use permit.”

Among the requirements included in the zoning amendment is the prohibition of vehicle storage and “sales transactions or services rendered through an individualized storage unit, like a garage sale or auction,” the source reported. Those conditions are binding to the tenant, Pilkinton said.

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