Residents push back on storage facility

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published March 1, 2017

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TROY — A number of residents urged the Troy Planning Commission to recommend denial of a rezoning needed to build a three-story E-Z Mini Storage on 1.8 acres south of Long Lake Road, west of Livernois Road. 

After a public hearing at its Feb. 14 meeting, the Planning Commission voted 7-1 to recommend approval of the conditional rezoning from single-family residential to a neighborhood node zoning, which is how the site, surrounded by single-family residential lots, is designated in the city’s master plan. 

Planning Commissioner Philip Sanzica was absent from the meeting. Planning Commissioner Michael Hutson opposed the recommendation. He noted that all other commercial buildings in that area are two stories high. 

“This is the only three-story (building),” he said. “It’s not compatible.” 

A number of residents are opposed to the 109,800-square-foot facility, which would contain 700 storage units, 600 square feet of office space and 2,700 square feet of retail space. 

There is no tenant for the retail space at this time. 

Steve Nolan, a representative for the developer, said the developer would not allow businesses to operate in the storage facilities. He said the 700 storage units would generate a total of four to five cars per hour, “commonly known as a low traffic use,” he said. 

Nolan said the $5 million building would be “a state-of-the-art security facility.”  

Ben Carlisle, of Carlisle/Wortman Associates, the city’s planning consultant, told the Planning Commission that the site includes a 7,863-square-foot unregulated wetland. He said the developer is planning to create a rain garden and a 5-foot-wide sidewalk circling it at the rear of the site.

Troy City Planner R. Brent Savidant said that a petition protesting the rezoning has been submitted, but the names have not been verified or vetted by the city clerk. He said the petition will go to the City Council as part of the backup material for a public hearing. The City Council has final approval of rezoning requests. 

Bill Bowman, a representative for the developer, said the building would generate little traffic and would house small contractors and small businesses.

“We’re very picky who our (retail) tenants are,” he said. “The retail component is separate from the self-storage.” 

Residents expressed concerns about losing privacy, a lack of security, traffic congestion, the number of other storage facilities in the area, and the building’s incompatibility with nearby homes. 

“Would you want a three-story building next to your home?” said Phil Ohman. “It’s out of place.”

“It’s too big a footprint,” said Susan Dunlap. 

The council will consider the matter after a public hearing, the date for which has not yet been set.

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