Maple Grove approves storage unit facility concept

Shown is the property where the concept for the JMAR self-storage facility would be located. It is near the intersection of Bass Lake Road and Interstate 494 in Maple Grove.

The Maple Grove City Council discussed a self-storage concept proposal at its Monday, Feb. 4, meeting. This topic was recently talked about a Planning Commission meeting with public opposition.


City Planner Peter Vickerman presented the council with a concept plan request that would allow a self-storage facility be developed on a vacant piece of property. The property is located behind the Holiday gas station along Bass Lake Road and Interstate 494.

The property site is located just south of Bass Lake Road, west of I-494, north of the Plymouth city line, and east of a large wetland. This property is currently owned by the owner of the Holiday gas station.

A total of about 200 storage units would be built. Hours of operation would be from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

The site would have access through the Holiday gas station site before splitting into a series of access drives in front of the storage units. There would also be signage to direct the traffic behind the gas station.

In 1964 a building was constructed where the current gas station resides. By 1969, the I-494 and Bass Lake Road interchange was completed. The townhomes to the south in Plymouth were constructed in 1990, which eliminated the last opportunity for public road access to the property.

“The applicant is just requesting concept approval for the general use of the site as a storage facility,” Vickerman said. “There will be a number of details, if this were to be moved forward, regarding architecture of the building, landscaping, screening, storm water management, lighting. All of those details would come in with a subsequent phase.”

Vickerman added this proposed usage for the site is the lowest traffic generating than can be found, and is “one of the keys things that we have looked at for this.”

At the previous Planning Commission meeting, there were concerns raised about the proposed lighting of the property. Vickerman said the applicant intends to have lights on the building, which would create less light pollution than from lights in the air on poles.

Councilor Karen Jaeger asked to clarify that since the Planning Commission meeting the applicant met with surrounding neighbors to discuss concerns and worked out issues.”It seems like they’ve all talked it out and that from what I understand are supporting this now,” she said.

Vickerman said there was a neighborhood meeting, and while not everyone is on board, there are more people in support of project.

The applicant, John DeVries, stated he had three meetings with the neighbors. “We are not taking down any significant trees,” he said. “They will never see [the building] because this is lower land. It is just not visible.”

DeVries said he has invited the neighbors to be a part of the design process. He will also be adding screening to the area near the wetlands.

Councilor Phil Leith said he supported the proposal. “This seems to be a nice fit,” he said. Mayor Mark Steffenson agreed and said he was a less intensive use compared to housing.

Councilor Kristy Barnett said, “It sounds like you are being a very good neighbor to the people.”

The council approved directing the city attorney to draft a resolution approving JMAR Storage concept plan, subject to a few conditions.


In other action, the council:

APPROVED funding up to $14,000 to Age-Friendly Maple Grove to complete their 2019 goals and proceed with the approved action plan. Action items include: writing transportation research report, assist in coordination of housing forum, develop a website and access to evidence-based programs.

ADOPTED the 2019 Community Development Block Grant Funds Allocation Plan. Total funds received this year is $166,034, which is up slightly from 2018.

AUTHORIZED the city administrator to accept the Walker Consultant professional service proposal for the Maple Grove Transit Station and Parkway Transit Station repairs. Repairs include: ramp repairs, exterior pavers, bus approach, cub/gutter/sidewalk repairs, steel railings replacement,  isolated roofing maintenance, concrete floor and wall repairs, joint repairs, bituminous/asphalt repair, painting, and concrete floor sealer.

ACCEPTED the resignation of Nkechi Anyamele from the Citizens Advisory Committee.

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