The Kent, Wash., City Council has passed regulations that will limit the size and use of future self-storage developments in the city. The changes are designed to prevent facilities from taking up large swaths of land and encourage developers to propose mixed-use projects. The council approved the changes last month following recommendations from city staff, the Kent Economic and Community Development Committee, and the Land Use and Planning Board, according to the source.
“Mini-warehouses take up five acres and do not bring a lot of vitality into areas,” wrote Matt Gilbert, deputy director of economic and community development, in a report to a city committee. “It’s a dead use with a large footprint that creates a big blank spot in the landscape. The large format uses take up big chunk of land in commercial zones where they are allowed.”
A city staff report also criticized self-storage for generating few jobs and less revenue compared to other uses.
Future developments could offer as much as 40 percent self-storage while preserving street-level space for retail or professional services. “This approach leaves open the possibility of well-integrated, mixed-use projects while protecting the city’s interests in economic development and commercial-corridor vitality,” according to city staff.
Kent already has more self-storage facilities per capita than Auburn, Covington, Renton, Des Moines, Bellevue, Redmond and Shoreline, Wash., city staff said. Prior to the new regulations, a developer received approval in March for a new three-story facility at 15460 SE 272nd St. on the East Hill, the source reported. The first phase includes two retail/office buildings on the 5.5-acre site, while the second phase includes three self-storage buildings.
Though the restrictions curtail self-storage developer options, city officials wanted to avoid an all-out ban on future projects. “To not be hard line about it leaves the door open for a creative developer,” Gilbert wrote.
Kent Reporter, City of Kent to Restrict Size, Location of Self-Storage Facilities