Ridgeland changes storage facilities zoningBy MEGAN PHILLIPS,
An amendment to the zoning ordinance concerning climate-controlled storage facilities has been approved by Ridgeland city officials.
The amendment excludes storage facilities as a conditional use in the C-3 zoning classification. A conditional use requires that 15 additional characteristics are in keeping with city officials’ requests, giving the mayor and board more control over the structure.
The mayor and board of aldermen recently approved amendments to the ordinance in a four to three vote following a public hearing April 3.
“A couple of people spoke against the change,” Mayor Gene McGee said. “Then the board voted to make the change and remove climate-controlled storage as a conditional use in C-3.”
In other words, commercial developers may no longer apply for and get a conditional use to put a storage facility in that zoning class, the mayor said.
“They have to go in other zones that allow for conditional uses. The board felt like it was more appropriate for those zones than C-3.”
Ward 1 Alderman Ken Heard, Ward 4 Alderman Brian Ramsey and Ward 5 Alderman Bill Lee were the three opposing votes for the amendment.
“The ordinance itself was pretty much on buildings like storage facilities not being consistent with what surrounds it in that zoning class,” Heard said. “We felt that was a little shaky in terms of making that kind of change to the ordinance.”
Heard said he, Ramsey and Ridgeland citizens spoke against the amendment during the public hearing.
“There was discussion… at the public hearing about the two developers that had put in projects for storage. They had the idea on the very front end that there was no major problem, as long as the board could work out the details. Those two developers spent a good bit of time and money to find out that, later on, their usage just really wasn’t desirable in those zoning classes.”
Developers included Bob Lloyd, who had applied to build a Storage Max on the west side of Highland Colony across from the Costco site, and John Ditto, who bought land from the Mississippi Department of Transportation on Jackson Street next to the Chevron station to build the storage facility.
“(Ditto) had gone ahead and backed away before the public hearing,” Heard said. “He just kind of cancelled his plan.”
This ruling comes in the middle of Ridgeland’s moratorium on storage facilities, which was originally implemented on February 6 and will be in effect until May 1.
The moratorium was put in place after a denied proposal for a Storage Max on Newpointe Drive, near Highland Colony, and during Lloyd’s Storage Max proposal.
McGee said the city is trying to ensure that not too many storage facilities are built within the main areas of the city.
“We’re getting a handle on it to make sure we don’t have them everywhere, especially where people would have first impressions of the city. We don’t want that to be storage facilities.”