Milton Planning and Zoning Commission, by a 5-1 vote, approved a special-use permit for Peak Management LLC, doing business as YourSpace Self Storage, to open a storage facility on Route 16.
Peak Management’s application will now move forward into the preliminary site-plan review process.
At its Aug. 2 meeting, the commission expressed concerns about the size of the proposed facility, which will feature two buildings and have more than 100,000 square feet of self-storage space. The three-acre parcel Peak Management wants to build on is an empty lot on Route 16 between Mulberry and Union streets that is zoned C-1 commercial. The complex would have a main building, a three-story, 113,000-square-foot facility and a one-story, 5,500-square-foot building, along with an office. By town code, a storage facility is a special permitted use that requires approval by planning and zoning.
Planning and zoning held a public hearing July 19, where Peak Management’s attorney, David Hutt, said the growth of the Milton area has created a need for self-storage facilities. He said the three-acre site was picked because it is along a major roadway and in a commercial area. Hutt also proposed eight conditions to go along with the special permitted use, including: limiting the size of the three-story building to what has been proposed; limiting the office hours to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday; a fenced and gated entrance; a manager on-site; no outside storage; on-site safety lighting included throughout the facility; screening for air-conditioning units on the three-story building; and a 25-foot landscape buffer on the southeast and southwest sides of the property.
Commissioner George Cardwell added several more conditions, including that Peak Management must provide additional architectural elevations, documentation from the Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office indicating there is no need for a fire lane in the complex, and that no one can operate a business from within one of the YourSpace storage units.
During the public comment portion July 19, the main concerns were about the size of the three-story building and the effect of the facility on traffic; the proposed YourSpace facility would be located across Route 16 from the proposed Royal Farms gas station and convenience store.
The commission shared some of those concerns, but Chair Richard Trask said those concerns would be addressed during the site-plan review process.
As for the special permitted use, the commission tabled the application at the July 19 meeting in order to review the proposed conditions in writing. They came back Aug. 2 to finalize the vote on the special permitted use, which in addition to approving the conditions, also included determining if the code requirements had been met.
Commissioner Don Mazzeo was the only no vote, saying the facility would be detrimental to residential homeowners who live nearby.
“I don’t believe the way this is presented, in my opinion, protects the surrounding area or the gateway into town. The fact that the applicant has not addressed a request to look at reducing the height or bring it down to two stories; I would not be in the position to vote in favor to put the special use in place,” he said.
While Mazzeo was an outright no, commissioners Lynn Ekelund and Maurice McGrath were reluctant yes votes, saying that while they are not happy with the proposed plans, they do meet the criteria for a special permitted use.
The commission will now formalize its decision in writing, which is likely to happen at its next scheduled meeting, Tuesday, Aug. 16.