A firm cited a changing market for self-storage units in southern Delaware County as it sought approval for a less-ambitious plan to redevelop a Powell storage complex.

The city in 2017 gave the Ellis Co. the OK to move forward with its plan to add units to the Powell Self Storage site at 72 Industrial Park Place, north of Powell Road and just east of Sawmill Parkway. The Ellis Co. initially planned to raze one of the seven existing buildings on the site and build seven new structures, adding nearly 80,000 square feet of storage space.

The company returned to Powell's Planning and Zoning Commission on Feb. 14 to ask for approval to move forward with a plan featuring two fewer buildings, at least in the short term.

The developer also requested the ability to use metal instead of simulated brick on the facade of one of the proposed buildings.

"Over time, there have been a lot of additional self-storage (units built) in this area, so we're seeing the demand slack just a little bit," said Jill Tangeman, an attorney representing the applicant.

Ellis Co.'s plan for the site initially called for the elimination of outdoor boat and RV storage.

Tangeman said "at least for the moment" outdoor vehicle storage will remain available in place of the two planned buildings.

"Ultimately, we would like to be able to still build (the two structures); we're just not going to do it right this immediate moment," she said.

The five new buildings still set for construction are expected to block the vehicle-parking site from the view of neighbors.

Commission member Trent Hartranft said he approves of the developer's plan to keep vehicle storage in the interior of the site at it waits to complete the buildout.

"I don't have any concerns," he said. "I think (the vehicles) will be well-hidden."

Other commission members said they had some qualms with the revised plan.

Commission member Donald Emerick said making changes to a final development plan already negotiated and agreed on by the developer and the city concerned him.

"I'm very hesitant once we've made concessions initially to come back later and change what we already approved," he said.

While he was not the lone commission member to express concerns with the revision, Emerick was the only board member to vote against the change.

The Ellis Co. is expected to begin construction on the site within a month. The entire buildout is expected to take several years.

tgallick@thisweeknews.com

@twgallick