Council eyes Galloway self-storage amid ward opposition

Despite neighborhood opposition, a development of self-storage units in the Galloway Village neighborhood of south Springfield is being debated by the city council.

Located just south of Sequiota Park, the proposed one-story property would include 188 climate-controlled self-storage units.

The Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended denial of the units, while the city’s professional staff recommends approval. A final decision will be made by City Council at its next meeting.

Developer Sam Coryell told City Council there was a need in the Galloway borough for self-storage – saying there was no similar service within five miles.

“Americans have more space than us and apartment dwellers in this area have even less excess space. So I think that’s a feature, a service, that would be used and appreciated in this area,” did he declare. Complex of 28 apartments which he owns.

After:The proposed project offers coffee, pickleball on Grant Avenue Parkway. Council shows interest.

In Springfield, Coryell is best known as an owner and operator of apartment complexes through his company, TLC Properties. According to the company’s website, TLC Properties has more than 6,000 tenants in Springfield.

Given these properties, Coryell argued that he had a stake in the prosperity of the Galloway Village neighborhood.

Artist's rendering of proposed Galloway Village storage units.

“I want pretty things in the village of Galloway, so we intend to achieve an aesthetic quality…We believe this project adds value to the community.”

But self-storage units are facing opposition from the Galloway Village Neighborhood Association, as Galloway’s development guidelines passed by the council in 2019 list self-storage as one of six uses” incompatible” with the district of Galloway.

GVNA President Melanie Bach argued that allowing these self-storage units would set a dangerous precedent for the city council to ignore its own guidelines.

“This is simply not the right space for a self-storage facility. Our neighborhood finds it frustrating that after our extensive involvement in the Galloway guideline development process, … that the city’s planning department always recommends projects that are inconsistent with the Galloway guidelines adopted by council,” Bach told council members on Monday evening.

“We understood that participating in the development of these guidelines would save us from having to oppose proposals that clearly violate them. This is only the second zoning proposal submitted since the adoption of the guidelines and we felt we had contained material which is manifestly inconsistent with the guidelines.”

After:Springfield Council votes against 7 Brew Coffee proposal on Sunshine after months-long debate

The Galloway Village Neighborhood Association has been in a long-running dispute with the town over another development for several years – with an appeals court ruling in favor of the neighborhood association earlier this year.

Despite this, Bach said she was not “anti-development” and that they negotiated in good faith with the developers. In a GVNA vote, 56% of voting neighbors opposed the self-storage company and 44% in favor.

But city staff and developers argue the guidelines don’t prohibit a self-storage unit, just that they should be for “limited” use. Coryell said his climate-controlled storage units were not what guideline writers had in mind when they called such a business “incompatible” with the neighborhood.

“When someone says self-storage, I’m conjuring up images that aren’t always appealing, all-metal structures and with the old rolling doors. And I would say this application could be considered incompatible. But that’s a different product. Although it serves as a storage facility, it is the climate control variety,” he said.

He also noted that access to the units will also be prohibited in the late evening and there will be no light pollution typically associated with self-storage units.

But another proponent opposed to the units countered that these changes shouldn’t exempt the units from the city’s own guidelines.

“the guidelines don’t say incompatible unless it looks good. I mean, Kum & Go gas stations look really nice. But it clearly wouldn’t be a place for a Kum & Go gas station Go,” said Jamie Thomas, chief operating officer for real estate firm Green Circle Projects.

After:Smash My Trash says it’s saving Springfield customers money and helping the environment

In a rare case of developers arguing against each other, Thomas argues that she was not “anti-development” but “thoughtful pro-development.”

“We need development that brings value to a neighborhood, our residents and our citizens. We feel that by opposing these guidelines we are going directly against that, especially given the vote that this neighborhood association has already come in. have said they oppose it. And we think we have to honor that,” she said.

Development architect Harlan Hill told council he had “no reasonable option other than a vote of approval”.

“The proposed development does not create a detrimental impact on the health, safety and welfare of the public. There is no apparent cause of harm to the community or prejudice to the value and use of the adjacent properties. Staff have already assessed adherence to the Galloway area recommendations applicable to the proposed development and found to be compliant in all categories,” Hill said.

“I therefore submit that a complete and total prohibition of the proposed development in the absence of a justified threat to the health, safety and welfare of the public would be a direct deprivation of the owners’ constitutional rights and privileges to achieve the best and highest use of the property.”

Although a vote won’t take place until their next meeting, most board members seemed inclined to support the development of self-storage. Councilwoman Monica Horton was the only member to publicly voice her concerns about Galloway’s violation of the guidelines.

“You said it was restricted but not prohibited,” she told city staff. “But in the language I also saw, there’s also a descriptor called incompatible. So I was able to read a line in the guidelines, and I saw that the storage units are listed as incompatible with the character of Galloway.”

Conversely, councilor Heather Hardinger said the proposal was “not like the typical model you see” for self-storage.

“People would come in and out like they would at any other business in the area. It’s not like you can get in your car at your leisure and open your unit. You have to go through this secure facility,” Hardinger said.

Councilman Mike Schilling called the proposal “relatively benign”.

“I’m perplexed by this ‘incompatibility’ with the neighborhood. I can understand if you had a succession of buildings that look like confined livestock operations like a lot of storage units. It’s one thing, but it seems match that particular style of housing and apartments and so on there,” Schilling said.

Andrew Sullender is the local government reporter for the Springfield News-Leader. Follow him on Twitter @andrewsullender. Email tips and story ideas to [email protected]

Comments are closed.