After three public hearings, the Violet Township Board of Zoning Appeals voted 4-1 May 15 to approve a conditional-use permit and associated variances for a proposed self-storage facility slated to be located on the southeast corner of Milnor and Refugee Roads.
Those who are against the project, including many residents of the adjacent Spring Creek subdivision, now face the possibility the large-scale project developed by Storage One Self-Storage could soon become a reality.
Proponents of the project can now focus on how developers will gain access to the site through possible future negotiations with the city of Pickerington.
Prior to the BZA decision, Spring Creek resident Chuck Lockard said last week he appreciated how members of the Spring Creek community joined forces and coordinated efforts to voice opposition to the project.
The Spring Creek subdivision is located in the city of Pickerington. A large contingent of residents cited what they consider to be the project’s potential negative impact on home values as a driving force for opposition.
Those residents expressed safety concerns as well, particularly in terms of how future traffic could affect their neighborhood and the many children that play there.
Potential light and noise pollution generated as a result of the project were also cited by residents during public hearings leading up to the May 15 decision.
Storage One officials have posited from the outset the development will minimally impact the adjoining Spring Creek neighborhood while expanding the township’s tax base.
They pointed to a similar, yet smaller, Storage One self-storage facility on Windmiller Drive in Pickerington as an example of a low-impact operation that has generated no complaints.
The May 15 BZA decision grants Storage One a conditional-use permit to allow a 10-building self-storage facility to operate on 7.6 acres of the total 10.4 acre tract, currently owned by Sybil Heim.
The BZA also approved Storage One Self-Storage’s five variance requests to:
• Allow for the maximum permitted area for self-service storage facility.
• Deviate from required setbacks.
• Allow for delinquent sales auctions on-site.
• Allow for relief from loading space requirements.
• Allow for building height greater than current limits.
The proposed 97,000-square-foot storage facility will be designed to hold up to 519 storage units. Developers plan to house retail operations and parking on the remaining easternmost 2.8 acres of the Heim parcel.
According to Violet Township Director of Operations Benjamin King, Storage One will also need township approval for zoning permits and building permits before it can begin construction of the facility.
With the BZA decision now in the books, the next hurdle for Storage One remains the issue of access, which has not been rectified.
Spring Creek Drive is located in the city of Pickerington and thus maintained by the city.
Access to the proposed storage facility would have to be routed through Spring Creek Drive because both Refugee and Milnor roads are not viable entry points to the proposed development.
The city of Pickerington, through its legal counsel, has stated only the city can grant or deny permission for any future access off Spring Creek Drive.
Pickerington City Manager Bill Vance said he hasn’t seen any evidence the township has power to grant access.
“No one has requested access to Spring Creek Drive and no one has produced any agreement that allows this property in the township to access Spring Creek Drive,” Vance said.