The Woburn, Mass., Planning Board has unanimously recommended the city council approve an ordinance that would eliminate self-storage as an allowable use in the city’s business-interstate, industrial-park and industrial-general zoning districts. The measure is sponsored by council president Richard Haggerty, who believes self-storage doesn’t generate enough tax revenue and devalues industrial properties, according to the source.
“There seems to be a trend of turning these industrial buildings into warehouse facilities,” Haggerty told planners during a recent meeting. “I look at our zoning in the city and want to encourage higher-end uses. There’s really no jobs created by these [self-storage businesses], and they tend to devalue properties when they’re converted.”
Though Haggerty acknowledged there’s consumer need for self-storage, he believes the local market is saturated. “We have seven of them. I think we have plenty to meet the needs of the community,” he said.
Planner Michael Ventresca noted there have been instances when converting an existing building to self-storage has made sense for the city. Calling the use “low impact,” he also warned that banning self-storage from the identified districts would eliminate the use as a possible fit for industrial buildings that border neighborhoods or high-traffic corridors.
Haggerty countered that many residents tend to oppose self-storage within neighborhoods. He argued that other uses would provide better investment opportunities for the city, the source reported.
If passed, existing self-storage businesses would be allowed to continue operation as pre-existing, non-conforming uses, according to the source. The report didn’t indicate when the city council is likely to vote on the ordinance.
- Daily Times Chronicle: Planners in Favor of Proposed Ban on New Self-Storage