A developer last week earned the Powell Planning and Zoning Commission's OK to add nearly 80,000 square feet of indoor storage space on the city's west side.

The board April 26 voted unanimously to approve the Ellis Co.'s final development plan for property now known as Powell Self Storage at 72 Industrial Park Place, north of Powell Road and just east of Sawmill Parkway. The firm's proposal calls for the demolition of one of seven existing buildings and the construction of seven new buildings on the southern portion of the property.

Rocky Kambo, a planner with the city's development department, said the project could be a boon to local government entities.

"These type of uses require very little municipal services and, thereby, the net benefit is that we get more funds from it, and the schools get a lot of money from the property taxes coming from this improvement," he said.

The developer's proposal also calls for the elimination of outdoor boat and RV storage from the site.

Kambo said city staff thinks replacing vehicle-storage areas with enclosed buildings should reduce the number of trips by customers to the facility.

"There's going to be a lot less traffic to the site," he said.

Board member Joe Jester said he views the proposal as an upgrade for all parties involved.

"I think this is a very positive move for the city of Powell and the property owners and the people who are going to use it," he said.

The developer still needs final approval from Powell City Council before it can move forward with construction. Council's first reading of legislation approving the final development plan had not been scheduled as of May 1.

Kambo said the developer plans to begin construction "almost immediately" and complete the work in six to eight months after receiving final approval from the city.

The redeveloped site would feature about 79,000 square feet of new construction in addition to about 44,000 square feet of existing storage space.

Kambo said residents have expressed to city officials that additional storage space is a need in the community.