Businesses looking to build a storage facility in Middletown will now have some new guidelines to consider.
The town’s commissioners voted unanimously Monday to approve an ordinance that would make self-storage centers a primary use in the town’s code, and adds definitions for several terms.
The ordinance defines the terms “personal property,” “self-storage units” and “storage.”
Lancaster Craftsmen Builders has plans to develop a lot next to Town Center Plaza Shopping Center along U.S. 40 Alternate with a complex that could contain office space, retail or restaurant space and a 25,000-square-foot storage facility behind the Safeway in the shopping center.
The project led to the discovery of an inconsistency in the town’s code between two ordinances, Burgess John Miller said Monday.
The proposed ordinance has been part of a six-month process, including consideration by the town’s commissioners, Planning Commission, zoning administrator and town administrator, Miller said.
“It’s gone through a pretty extensive vetting process,” he said.
Resident John Hugelmyer, who lives near the property, said he and his neighbors have concerns about noise, odors and other potential issues.
They would like fencing, trees, and a berm to screen the site from nearby homes, he said.
If vehicle storage were allowed, neighbors want it as far from homes as possible, he said.
Resident Laurie Benedetto questioned whether the facility was needed, noting that there is one nearby with more than 400 units.
Miller said that if zoning allows a facility, the town can’t decide whether or not a project happens.
When the town began looking at it, officials decided that it should clarify whether a facility would be a primary or secondary use.
“Personal property” is defined as tangible possessions other than real estate or buildings that is movable, such as vehicles, appliances, furniture or jewelry.
“Self-storage units” denote a building or group of buildings with self-contained units that are rented to people, businesses or organizations, with commercial transactions are prohibited except at the facility’s business office.
The ordinance allows the storage of registered, insured and operable vehicles but prohibits vehicle repair on the site.
“Storage” is defined as the keeping of something for future use.
The ordinance requires rules and regulations for the operation of the facility to be submitted to the town’s Planning Commission for review.