A moratorium on new self-storage developments goes into effect March 9 in Coon Rapids.
The temporary development suspension continues for the next six months unless the City Council decides to end it earlier or extend it — up to an additional 18 months is allowed.
Coon Rapids City Council members Feb. 19 unanimously adopted the ordinance imposing the moratorium.
The council directed staff to draft a moratorium ordinance at a work session Jan. 22 following two proposals for new self-storage facilities late last year, one of which was approved by the council and the other denied after appeal from a Coon Rapids Planning Commission decision that rejected the plan.
According to Community Development Director Grant Fernelius, during council consideration of both those proposals, questions were raised about the number of self-storage facilities in the city, different types and in which zoning districts they are permitted.
Right now, they are allowed as a conditional use in the general commercial zoning district, but accessory outdoor storage is not permitted; whereas in the industrial zoning district, self-storage facilities are a permitted use and outdoor accessory storage is allowed with approval of a conditional use permit, Fernelius said.
But there are additional standards for self-storage developments in the River Rapids Overlay District along Coon Rapids Boulevard, which was the reason for the denial of the recent proposal on Vale Street and Coon Rapids Boulevard Extension, he said.
Staff is aware of interest in two more new self-storage facilities in the Coon Rapids, and the city needs to hit “the pause button” to study several issues, including how to regulate them, different standards, where they should be allowed and market demand, Fernelius said.
“The only way to suspend application requests on a temporary basis is through a development moratorium,” he said.
However, in response to a question from Council Member Brad Greskowiak, Fernelius said it’s possible the city will receive a planning application for a new self-storage project prior to the March 9 effective date of the ordinance.
The moratorium would also prevent any expansion of existing self-storage facilities in Coon Rapids, Fernelius said.
Council Member Wade Demmer said the moratorium was a good idea to take a look at self-storage developments to determine if any policy changes are needed.
“There have been lots of changes in how they operate and what they look like,” he said.
At about the midpoint of the six-month moratorium, a work session will be scheduled for the council to consider options prepared by staff on what actions to take, if any, prior to the expiration of the moratorium, said City Manager Matt Stemwedel.