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Moratorium on Self-Storage Development Lifted in Coon Rapids, MN

December 10, 2019

5 Min Read
Moratorium on Self-Storage Development Lifted in Coon Rapids, MN

Update 12/10/19 – The Coon Rapids City Council voted 5-2 on Nov. 19 to repeal its moratorium on self-storage development. Councilmembers Wade Demmer and Jennifer Geisler voted against lifting the ban, according to the source.

Though the city made an amendment in October to identify where self-storage facilities can be built, Geisler argued that building design is a “bigger issue.” “We have not even started to tackle that piece of it,” Geisler told the council. “In my estimation, repealing this part of the ordinance without working on the other half of the issue is too early.”

The moratorium will officially end 15 days after its announcement is published in the “UnionHerald” local newspaper, though no publication date was reported.

11/19/19 – The Coon Rapids City Council will vote on Nov. 19 to end its moratorium on self-storage development, which was originally supposed to be in effect until March 9. The ordinance to end the ban was introduced on Nov. 6. Though ending the stay is mostly a formality following the establishment of alternative restrictions earlier this month, Geisler indicated she’ll vote to lift the ban only if the city sets forth a plan to also review self-storage design guidelines, according to the source.

If the measure to lift the ban is passed, the moratorium would officially end 15 days after its announcement is published in the “UnionHerald” local newspaper.

11/5/19 – The Coon Rapids City Council unanimously approved Ordinance 2227 on Oct. 15, restricting future self-storage development in its General Commercial District and River Rapids Overlay to facilities in which all storage units are accessed from inside a building. Existing storage facilities that have exterior, drive-up access to units will be grandfathered as legal nonconforming uses, according to the source. Officials passed the resolution, while its moratorium on new development remains in effect.

The ordinance submitted by city staff formally defines traditional and indoor self-storage uses for the first time. “Indoor self-storage” is defined as a “fully enclosed building that is climate-controlled, containing separate, individual and private storage spaces of varying sizes, leased or rented on an individual basis for the storage of personal property; where individual renters control and access individual storage spaces.” The traditional definition is essentially the same but without a description of any structures.

Under the ordinance, traditional self-storage developments would still be allowable within the city’s Industrial District, with outdoor storage permissible with a conditional-use permit.

Though existing self-storage facilities will be allowed to remain operational within the General Commercial and River Rapids Overlay districts, the ordinance expressly prohibits any expansions. If a facility is destroyed, it can be rebuilt in the same traditional configuration; however, if the business ceases operation for more than 12 months, it will lose its nonconforming rights and not be allowed to reopen as a traditional site. Instead, it would have the option to rebuild as indoor self-storage, according to the ordinance.

“I think this is a great first step, and it allows us to move forward,” councilmember Jennifer Geisler told the source.

8/20/19 – The Coon Rapids City Council plans to extend its moratorium on self-storage development another six months. The ordinance will go into effect on Sept. 7, according to city attorney David Brodie. The postponement will give the council time to enact proposed code changes before the ban expires, according to a source.

Staff presented an assessment of the current policy for self-storage development to the city council on July 9. They considered whether it was adequate and looked at legislative options. They also examined market demand for self-storage and how neighboring cities regulate the business, Brodie said.

At this time, no changes to the policy are proposed for the industrial zoning districts. However, the council determined only climate-controlled, indoor self-storage will be allowed in the general commercial zoning districts and the River Rapids Overlay District, which governs development along the Coon Rapids Boulevard corridor, a source reported. Design standards for indoor storage will also be re-evaluated.

3/6/19 – The Coon Rapids City Council unanimously approved a six-month moratorium on self-storage development. The ban also applies to the expansion of existing facilities. It’ll run until Sept. 9 unless the council opts to lift or extend the ordinance. Officials could prevent development activity for up to an additional 18 months, according to the source.

“The only way to suspend application requests on a temporary basis is through a development moratorium,” Fernelius said.

Officials are expected to schedule a work session once the ordinance has been implemented for 90 days. Council members will use the meeting to consider potential actions prepared by staff, the source reported.

2/14/19 – The Coon Rapids, Minn., City Council is considering whether to impose a moratorium on self-storage development. During a work session on Jan. 22, council members discussed placing a six-month freeze on project consideration to give staff time to study the different types of facilities in the industry, zoning restrictions, and how other municipalities regulate the sector. The council will review the idea formally on Feb. 19. If enacted, the ban would go into effect on March 9, according to the source.

The moratorium was suggested after concerns arose during two recent applications, one of which was approved. The city has at least two other storage developers interested in submitting proposals, Grant Fernelius, community-development director, told the source.

Self-storage is currently allowed as a conditional use in general commercial districts, though outdoor storage is prohibited. In industrial zoning districts, it’s a permitted use, with outdoor storage possible with a conditional-use permit, the source reported.

Council members were generally favorable toward the moratorium during the work session. “I have no problem putting a hold on this,” councilmember Steve Wells said.

ABC Newspapers, Coon Rapids Repeals Moratorium on Self-Storage Facilities
ABC Newspapers, Coon Rapids City Council Introduces Ordinance to Repeal Moratorium on Self-Storage Facilities
ABC Newspapers, New Outdoor Self-Storage Facilities Banned in Coon Rapids
Coon Rapids, Consider Adoption of Ordinance 2227 Regulating Self-Storage Facilities
ABC Newspapers, Coon Rapids Imposes Moratorium on Self-Storage
ABC Newspapers, Moratorium Proposed on Self-Storage Facilities in Coon Rapids
Hometown Source, Coon Rapids to Extend Moratorium on Self-Storage Facilities

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