“This will give us more oversight to be able to disseminate whether they’re in the right area or being used for the right reasons.”
The Warren County Planning and Zoning Commission voted to require self-storage businesses to obtain a conditional use permit before being built on county land currently zoned for agricultural use during its June 15 meeting.
The vote came after Wright City Mayor Michelle Heiliger and others petitioned for a public hearing on the issue. A number of people from Wright City, including the mayor, Aldermen Ramiz Hakim and Don Andrews, and Alderwoman Kerry Owens, had planned to speak during the hearing.
The petition called for commercial storage units to be approved or disapproved for the permit rather than simply allowing the structures to be built.
But before anyone had the opportunity, the commission voted unanimously to change the ordinance. The decision now goes to the County Commission for final approval.
“This will give us more oversight to be able to disseminate whether they’re in the right area or being used for the right reasons,” Chair Corey Johnston, the Camp Branch Township representative on the commission said. “So we’ll have a little more oversight in terms of where they’re being built.”
“I just want to say thank you,” Heiliger told the commission after the vote. “This goes a long way to prove that we can partner with each other. We want to be good neighbors. That’s the whole goal.”
Seven additional residents who had asked to speak, including the three aldermen, declined following the vote except to thank the board for their decision. Another resident, Lynda Baker, did address the commission.
“I’m not opposed to a storage facility on agricultural property as long as it has to do with agriculture, whether it be storing grain feed, tractors, trailers, whatever to support that agricultural land,” she said.
Baker expressed dismay that most of what is stored in a self-storage unit has nothing to do with agriculture.
“I don’t even think they should be on agricultural property,” Baker told the commission.
She also told the commission that self-storage units should be taxed at the commercial rate of 32 percent as opposed to the agricultural rate of 12 percent. Attorney Mark Vincent clarified that was already the case.
About the author: Jason Koch is the editor of The Warren County Record, and covers local news and government for the newspaper. He has won multiple awards from both the Indiana and Illinois APME and from the Illinois Press Association. He can be reached at 636-456-6397 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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