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Vernon Township, PA, Zoning Board Denies Variance for Self-Storage Project

The Vernon Township, Pa., Zoning Hearing Board unanimously denied a variance appeal from property owner Wayne Karastury that would have enabled self-storage to be built at 13211 Conneaut Lake Road. Karastury had proposed a 10-building project comprising 435 units, but the plan required a zoning variance because self-storage isn’t listed as a permissible or conditional use in the district.

October 24, 2016

2 Min Read
Vernon Township, PA, Zoning Board Denies Variance for Self-Storage Project

The Vernon Township, Pa., Zoning Hearing Board unanimously denied a variance appeal from property owner Wayne Karastury that would have enabled self-storage to be built at 13211 Conneaut Lake Road. Karastury had proposed a 10-building project comprising 435 units, but the plan required a zoning variance because self-storage isn’t listed as a permissible or conditional use in the district.

Ashley Porter, president of Porter Consulting Engineers, presented Karastury’s case to the board, arguing the property was poorly suited for other uses. Board members were presented with several letters from neighboring property owners who supported the project, the source reported. “With the absence of public sewer, you’re limited in what you can do with the property,” Karastury told the board, describing the lot as “an open field with a bunch of weeds.”

Two self-storage operators spoke against the variance, arguing it would provide an unfair, competitive advantage since they had been denied similar project requests. “I am not against additional self-storage development. We’re not trying to keep self-storage out of the area,” said Bill Kingzett, who owns Meadville Self Storage in Vernon Township and Conneaut Lake Self Storage in Sadsbury Township, Pa. “What we’re against is somebody entering into the market on a different playing field than what we were required to do.”

Jennifer Bryer, who co-owns AmeriStorage Self Storage, which has locations in Vernon Township and Woodcock Township, Pa., told the board her company recently sold a piece of property similar to Karastury’s because zoning didn’t allow self-storage. “We’re off of a side road because we had to be,” Bryer said.

The board ruled that the variance denial wouldn’t cause Karastury an unnecessary hardship, according to the source. He has 30 days to file an appeal with the Crawford County Court of Common Pleas.

Sources:

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