Lighthouse Storage, which operates three self-storage facilities in Indiana and one in Kentucky, is seeking zoning approval to build a new location in Henderson, Ky. The property along U.S. Highway 60 E. and across from the Balmoral Acres residential subdivision is owned by Dr. David and Peggy Watkins. The Henderson City-County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Nov. 6 to discuss the proposal, according to the source.
Plans include demolishing an existing house on the 4.8-acre property to create an entryway and address at 2429 U.S. Highway 60 E. for the storage facility. The site would contain 11 buildings ranging from 2,054 square feet to 14,952 square feet, some of which will be climate-controlled.
The city’s zoning language was recently amended to allow self-storage in areas zoned for neighborhood business. However, there are strict regulations compared to development in places zoned for light or heavy industrial. “It’s a bit of a change of pace,” said Brian Bishop, planning commission executive director. “Normally, storage units are allowed in a light or heavy-industrial zone, and they are less aesthetically pleasing is the best way to describe it, where this zoning allows for more aesthetically pleasing buildings and structures and fences.”
The new regulations also place emphasis on how the business will fit with the surrounding area. “You have limitations such as hours of operation, and screening is much more heavily enforced,” Bishop said. “It’s trying to strike a delicate balance. We’re trying to find a way to address a need in the community and a way to protect the neighbors at the same time. The idea is to let someone maximize their property to the fullest extent, and then still protect the neighbors, which is the whole goal of the planning commission.”
Additional restrictions for self-storage include inward-facing unit doors and limitations on business hours. The building design, fencing, landscaping, lighting and signage are also addressed in the zoning text.
In its initial plans, Lighthouse Storage presented a “green giant arborvitae” with a mature height of 25 to 30 feet as well as boxwood bushes around the perimeter. A retention pond would be located on the site’s north end, and the monument sign wouldn’t exceed six feet tall. Outdoor storage would also be prohibited.
The open field on the site is at a lower elevation than the roadway, which could provide natural screening for the storage business, Bishop said. “The design and the exteriors of the building also have to match the surrounding areas, which is subjective and open to interpretation by the planning commission and the board of zoning adjustment,” he added.
The city codes department, attorney, planning commission and its staff worked together to amend the zoning language to allow self-storage in neighborhood business areas. “From everything that we have heard—the planning commission staff and the city codes staff—there seems to be a need for high-end storage units such as this,” Bishop said. “These are more climate-controlled, where the units we have traditionally in Henderson are more of an industrial nature. These are more likely for people who have downsizing needs.”
If the rezoning is approved by the planning commission, the project will need a conditional-use permit from the board of zoning adjustment. A detailed site plan will also need to be approved by the planning commission.
“There are numerous opportunities to grant this application while hand-crafting a development that meets the goals of the comprehensive plan,” attorney Chris Hopgood wrote in documents submitted to the planning commission on behalf of the Watkinses.
Lighthouse operates facilities in Boonville, Evansville and Tell City, Ind., and Shepherdsville, Ky.
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