Officials Impose Distance Requirement Between Self-Storage Facilities in Miami, FL

Update 4/3/17 – The Miami, Fla., City Commission has passed an ordinance that requires a minimum 2,500-foot distance between self-storage facilities in any direction. Not having any distance requirements for self-storage in the zoning code wound up “adversely impacting” the surrounding community, per the measure. The zoning change also addresses facility design and adds the retail requirement to the ground floor, the source reported.

Update 4/3/17 – The Miami, Fla., City Commission has passed an ordinance that requires a minimum 2,500-foot distance between self-storage facilities in any direction. Not having any distance requirements for self-storage in the zoning code wound up “adversely impacting” the surrounding community, per the measure. The zoning change also addresses facility design and adds the retail requirement to the ground floor, the source reported.

Officials decided to enact the requirement partially due to steady demand for storage coinciding with growing population density, according to the source.

In referring to architectural style, the ordinance says facility design “should be in a manner that is in keeping with the character and scale of the surrounding area.” Officials indicated the requirement to have retail on the ground floor, with at least half of the space leased to an unrelated business, was done to promote more public activity on self-storage properties.

The report didn’t indicate when the new ordinance goes into effect.

South Florida has had a surge in self-storage development in the last year. Elsewhere in the state, commissioners in Collier County have placed a year-long ban on self-storage and several other land uses along a seven-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 41, near the Naples, Fla., city limit.


11/7/16 – An increase in self-storage development in Miami has prompted officials to try to limit future projects by changing the city’s zoning ordinance. The planning, zoning and appeals (PZA) board last week kicked back an ordinance proposal, directing staff to analyze the feasibility of setting more stringent distance requirements between storage facilities and single-family homes, according to the source.

Under current guidelines, self-storage is allowed in industrial zones as well as two designated zoning areas (T5-O and T6-O) for commercial buildings with residential and retail uses. In 2010, the city passed Miami 21, a measure that removed a stipulation requiring 2,500 feet between self-storage facilities. Since its removal, the city has received 20 storage-project applications. Four of those have been built, and 10 are under construction, the source reported.

“Nothing takes away from the city more and adds so little as these buildings,” PZA board member Adam Gersten said during a meeting last Wednesday.

The ordinance change presented by city planner Joseph Eisenberg would require 2,500 feet between self-storage developments in T5-O and T6-O areas. Such an enactment would eliminate developers’ ability to receive a variance. In addition, projects in those two zones would have to have retail on the ground floor, with at least half of the space leased to an unrelated business, according to the source.

Eisenberg called the proposed change a “first step” and told PZA members the plan is intended to discourage self-storage from T5-O and T6-O areas and funnel projects to industrial areas. The PZA board determined the plan didn’t go far enough and asked staff to determine the possibility of stricter distance requirements. PZA member Jennifer Barnes suggested self-storage be prevented within 500 feet of an area zoned for single-family homes. Staff will also examine increasing the T5-O and T6-O distance requirement from 2,500 feet, the source reported.

The PZA board will address self-storage zoning again during its Dec. 7 meeting. The Miami City Commission is expected to vote on zoning changes affecting self-storage by January.

Sources:

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