Update 3/20/15 – The Lower Pottsgrove Zoning Hearing Board unanimously denied the zoning-variances request from GEG Investments, effectively ending its bid to build a self-storage facility on its property at Orlando and Mauger Roads and North Charlotte Street. The project had faced heavy opposition from local residents.
Among the variances requested by GEG was permission to forego connecting to the township sewage system. The 272-unit storage facility would not have had an onsite office.
GEG Manager Guido DiCicco told the “Reading Eagle” he was unsure how the developer would proceed with the property.
2/19/15 – A self-storage project proposed for Lower Pottsgrove, Pa., is facing heavy opposition from local residents. Property owner GEG Investments LLC intends to build a 272-unit storage facility on 4.3 acres at Orlando and Mauger Roads and North Charlotte Street, but about two dozen residents attended a zoning board hearing this week to voice their disapproval.
Paul Prince, an attorney representing resident Tim Palladino, also submitted a petition containing 30 online signatures of people opposing the project. Residents contend there should be a more suitable use for the property consistent with the current commercial zoning. The site previously housed a used-car dealership but hasn’t been used in recent years, according to the source.
Residents also are concerned about increased traffic in the area and possible safety issues caused by customers moving boats and recreational vehicles in and out of the property along North Charlotte Street, the source reported.
GEG has proposed a fully automated self-storage facility. The plan doesn’t include any customer restrooms or a management office, although GEG Manager Guido DiCicco said the company is open to installing a portable toilet for tenant use. The business wouldn’t employ any onsite staff, but customers could call DiCicco at his office, which is about seven minutes away, with any issues, he said.
Landscaping at the property would be expanded to serve as a buffer between the facility and neighborhood. The site would feature black-rail perimeter fencing and a wrought-iron fence with pillars at the entrance. Plastic screening would be used to hide stored vehicles from the street. Customers would have gated, keycard access between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., according to the source.
Charles Garner, an attorney representing GEG, told the zoning board the company would be open to possible conditions set by the zoning board in order to gain approval. “Obviously, those conditions would be up to you; but my client would be amenable to reasonable conditions,” he said.
In addressing acceptable uses for the property, Garner challenged the board and residents to suggest a more suitable use under current zoning based on the parcel’s history. “With all due respect to Mr. Prince and his opinions, we believe that a self-storage facility for individuals to store their goods is of the same general character as a number of the uses that are outlined in the [commercial office district],” he said.
The zoning board voted to continue the hearing on March 17. On Feb. 2, township commissioners said they wouldn’t take action on the proposal unless GEG received approval from the zoning hearing board.