Sunday, July 21, 2024

Planning Commission Recommends Approval of Proposed Route 17 Mini-Storage Business

The York County Planning Commission voted 4-3 Wednesday to recommend for approval to the Board of Supervisors a proposal to grant a special use permit that would authorize construction of a mini-storage warehouse business on Route 17.

The proposal by Old Dominion Associates, LC, called for the development of a sliver of land located at 7800 George Washington Memorial Highway (Route 17). The debate among the commissioners revolved around the number of other mini-storage facilities along Route 17, with Commissioner Christopher Abel mentioning a past meeting of the Planning Commission where commissioners referred to Route 17 as “the self-storage capital of the world.”

Abel went on to say that a self-storage facility is “probably as good of a use as we’re going to get for this piece of property.” The shape of the property, with its limited frontage along Route 17 and its long tail stretching away from the road into wetlands, makes it particularly difficult to develop.

The three commissioners who voted against recommending the proposal, Todd Mathes, Alexander Hamilton and Chairman Richard M. Myer Jr., cited the abundance of self-storage facilities already in the area and said they were unconvinced the business was viable.

A property line dispute was brought forth by John McPherson, the owner of the building just north of the proposed development where Army-Navy Tattoo resides. McPherson voiced concern that the property lines as drawn on the proposal extended beyond the border of the applicant’s property and into his own. The commission said they had no jurisdiction over property lines. James Barnett, attorney for York County, said he had received no advanced notice of a property line dispute and that the granting of a special use permit would not result in a change in ownership of property.

A citizen who got up to speak said he was concerned with how the construction of a mini-storage facility would impact the appearance of the area. He said it is among the last of the undeveloped properties before the battlefield and on that side of the county.

The applicant cited nearby residential construction, including the now-underway Nelson’s Grant and the proposed Yorktown Crescent just north on Route 17, when discussing reasons why the commission should vote to recommend approval of the project. The new construction would result in up to seven one-story storage buildings for a total of 55,675 square feet. In addition, there would be a 1,200 square foot caretaker office building where the manager and his or her family would live.

The business would consist of brick-faced buildings, with a wrought iron fence and a monument style sign. The number and size of the units is currently unknown, though some of the units would be climate-controlled. There would be regular 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. business hours with 24/7 car access. Security cameras that take pictures of vehicles and their license plates as they come and go will likely be included.

The Board of Supervisors will consider the proposal at their Dec. 18 meeting.

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