A proposed mini-storage facility continues to draw contempt from Troutman residents.
Town council members amended the Highway Business zoning to include mini-storage with a special use permit in December. The Troutman Planning and Zoning Board approved recommending rezoning 11 acres at 111 Westmoreland Road from Residential Agricultural to Highway Business on Tuesday night.
The property is technically in the county but council will vote to annex it into city limits prior to voting on the rezoning.
“As you grow there’s a need for a storage facility,” said John Kindley, real estate agent. “(A storage facility) is a very benign use. There are a lot more aggressive uses for Highway business.”
Despite the future land use plan calling for that corridor to become commercial, residents in neighboring subdivisions opposed the rezoning.
“I served 22 years in the service and I had a plan for what community I wanted to live in and it didn’t include commercial businesses at our front door,” said Kevin Smith. “We understand growth will come but there’s plenty of property already commercially zoned. Most of us are out there because we want to be away from that.”
Residents also contested the property owner’s assertion that mini-storage warehouses are safe.
“They can say stuff is not run out of storage units, but there are statistics,” said Mariah Overcash. “Puppy mills are run out of them. Meth labs are run out of them. Craigslist is run out of them … I just think they should be in a different place.”
The rezoning request first came before Troutman Town Council in October but after a text amendment to allow mini-storage in Highway Business failed, the request was withdrawn.
“I consider this to be an end run around the law,” said Bert Gowens, Autumn Grove resident. “They tried to change the rules to get it through when it’s been shot down. … This is politics at work. Changing the rules should not change the outcomes.”
Kindley said if the request is rejected, they will try again.
“If we fail here, we will take it to the county,” Kindley said.
The request will come before town council Feb. 9.