The Dixon, Calif., Planning Commission will vote tonight on a proposed self-storage development that faces opposition from city staff. In a report to the commission, associate planner Scott Greeley wrote that the applicant, Rob Sesar, has been “strongly discouraged” from pursuing the project due to zoning restrictions, according to the source.
In his quest to build a storage facility at 1445 and 1465 Market Lane, Sesar has requested amendments to the city’s general plan as well as zoning text. He’s also asked for a use permit and design review to allow a manager’s residence as a conditionally permitted use.
The proposed site, off Pitt School Road south of Stratford Avenue, is zoned “highway commercial” and doesn’t currently permit self-storage. Allowing it wouldn’t be a valuable addition to the zoning district, city staff said.
“The stated intent of the Highway Commercial General Plan land-use designation and its underlying highway commercial zoning district are to promote uses [that] cater primarily to the traffic passing Dixon on [Interstate] 80,” Greeley wrote in a March 11 letter to Sesar. “Examples of establishments [that] provide services to tourists and travelers include motels, fast food and other restaurants, and gas stations.”
The planning commission had approved a conditional-use permit and design review for a self-storage facility on the land in 2011. The proposal by Helmut Sommer, the former property owner, included storage units as well as vehicle storage. The project had strong support from residents and nearby business owners, Sommer said.
In a Sept. 12 letter to the planning commission, Sommer wrote, “1465 Market Lane should never have been zoned highway commercial as the narrow and long depth of the lot made it unappealing to users. As the frontage facing I-80 is attractive, the length of the access road to reach it is a deterrent.”
The approvals expired in 2012, and the permits were removed in 2013 after Sommer didn’t pursue the building permit, the source reported. A lack of funds, energy and experience at the time led Sommer to abandon the project, he said, adding the new property owners have what he didn’t. “I am urging you to reinstate the previous overlay zone so that we get some activity in this part of the city. It will be a benefit to the entire neighborhood,” Sommer wrote.
The planning commission can process the application and request the city council approve the changes, or recommend members deny them. The planning meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the council chamber.