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Kokomo, IN, Adopts Stricter Building Standards for Self-Storage Facilities, Gas Stations

April 28, 2023

3 Min Read
Kokomo, IN, Adopts Stricter Building Standards for Self-Storage Facilities, Gas Stations

Update 4/28/23 – The Kokomo City Council voted 7-2 on Monday to proceed with tighter building restrictions on self-storage facilities and gas stations, including permitted zoning districts and design standards. Existing businesses will be grandfathered, but those that undergo a “major renovation” will have to meet the new design rules, according to the source.

Due to an objection from the Indiana Food and Fuel Association regarding the gas-station standards, the council considered tabling the vote to allow members more time to consider the changes. Ultimately, officials moved forward with a final reading and vote with the understanding they can make further revisions if the rules have “unintended consequences,” the source reported.

“If we would see a problem with this as we go forward, we can always come back and modify it,” councilmember Matt Grecu said during the meeting.

4/14/23 – The Kokomo City Council plans to vote this month on the various amendments proposed by the planning commission to self-storage zoning. The council didn’t discuss the changes prior to unanimously moving the amendments from the first to second and final reading. A final vote will likely happen on April 26, according to the source.

If the amendments are passed, self-storage development will be allowed in light-, moderate- and heavy-intensity zoning districts. A special-exception permit will be required for the light-industrial zone.

The law would also update the term for the service from “mini warehouse storage facility” to “self-storage facility.” It also stipulates that self-storage must be constructed on a minimum of 2 acres and be at least 4,500 square feet. Unit doors can’t be visible from a right-of-way or adjoining residential zoning districts. Additional design elements will also be required. Conversion projects will need to meet the same design standards; if it doesn’t, the council will allow brick veneer to be used, the source reported.

3/20/23 – Officials in Kokomo, Indiana, are considering stricter building standards for self-storage facilities and gas stations. The planning commission last week unanimously recommended approval for a series of ordinance amendments that would change the city’s definition of self-storage, limit the zoning districts where facilities can be built and apply new design standards, according to the source.

In its updated definition, the city would change “mini warehouse storage facility” to “self-storage facility” but limit it as a permissible use to heavy-intensity and moderate-intensity industrial zones. Applicants would need a special exception to build in a light-industrial zone, the source reported.

Among other proposed changes are minimum lot and building sizes as well as new architectural standards for building orientation, materials and facades. Roll-up unit doors would be prohibited from being visible from a right-of-way or adjoining residential district, while officials also want to “avoid the appearance of long, unbroken facades.” Windows or faux windows would be required on the second floor of a two-story building to be visible from a right-of-way or adjoining residential district, according to the amended ordinance.

Existing buildings targeted for self-storage conversion projects would also have to comply with the new architectural standards, according to the measure.

The city council is expected to hold a public hearing and vote on the proposed changes by May 1, which is the end date to a six-month development moratorium put in place in October. The ban was established so officials could draft new definitions and standards for self-storage and gas-station businesses.

Sources:
Kokomo Tribune, City OKs Stricter Standards for Gas Stations, Storage Facilities
Kokomo Tribune, City Proposes Stricter Standards for Storage Facilities, Gas Stations
Kokomo Tribune, Kokomo City Council Moves Forward Stricter Rules for Gas Station, Storage Facilities

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