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Yakima, WA, Self-Storage Owner Faces Battle Over Portable Storage

Mark Neeham, owner of Yakima Mini Storage Properties LLC with four facilities in Yakima, Wash., is battling the city over several portable-storage containers at one of his sites. Following an unrelated inspection of Chestnut Avenue Storage by the Yakima Fire Department, Neeham was told the containers at 5010 W. Chestnut Ave. violate building codes. City officials said several of them need to be set on foundations, while three would need to be removed altogether, according to the source. They also told Neeham he needs a building permit for the structures.

Neeham is now threatening to sue the city, stating he’s being treated unfairly. He claims there are dozens of similar containers at other storage properties that aren’t on foundations. “In fact, I couldn’t find any that did have foundations under them,” he said in his appeal, which goes before the city’s hearing examiner on June 14. Though the containers were placed four years ago, Neeham claims they’re not permanent and he has a right to use them on his private property.

According to city codes and the International Building Code, commercial storage containers of more than 120 square feet must have a footing, foundation and building permit, said Joe Caruso, code-enforcement manager. The city noted there have been two recent instances in which other business owners spoke with the planning department about the requirements or implemented portable containers at their sites, said Eric Crowell, assistant planner. If the department becomes aware of other sites that aren’t following code, they’ll be held to the same standards, he added.

“We went through the process and approved [Needham’s] storage containers but put conditions on it,” Crowell said. “But he’s basically appealing all the requirements we gave.”

Neeham’s other sites are 48th Avenue Mini-Storage, 58th Avenue Mini-Storage and 96th Avenue Mini-Storage. His facilities are family-owned and -operated.

Yakima Herald, Yakima Man Says City Unfairly Enforcing City Building Codes

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