City extends moratorium on self-storage facilities

Milford’s Planning and Zoning Board voted unanimously this month to extend a moratorium on self-storage facilities to Sept. 30.

The board also approved circulating a draft regulation change regarding self-storage facilities to city departments and area agencies and towns for review with the intent of having the new regulation in place before the moratorium expires.

The proposed revised regulation would prohibit self-storage facilities in all zones, except for the Housatonic Design District (HDD).

The HDD zone extends along the Housatonic River, south from Oronoque Road at Lexington Green to the zone’s southern boundary at I-95, excepting Caswell Cove condominiums, which is the Waterfront Design District (WDD) zone. The HDD zone varies in width: the section north of Caswell Cove encompasses both sides of Oronoque Road, while south of Caswell Cove, the HDD zone is located between the Housatonic River and the Naugatuck branch of Metro North.

Selfstorage facilities are currently allowed in the Corridor Design Development District 3 (CDD-3), which is located along the Bridgeport Avenue section of Route 1.

City Planner David Sulkis said his office has received inquiries about establishing self storage facilities on two properties on Route 1: The Kmart Plaza and the Babies R Us building.

“This is not a preferable use for our vibrant and important commercial corridor,” Sulkis said.

The Planning and Zoning Board approved a temporary moratorium on the construction of self-storage facilities last year, and that moratorium ran through June 30.

Economic and Community Development Director Julie Nash had made the request to the board, suggesting city departments impose a moratorium while they look into the “proliferation of these self-storage facilities in the context of the Plan of Conservation and Development.” She cited different cities around the country that have imposed moratoriums or tightened regulations on self-storage facilities.

Nash said last year that Milford’s 53,000 residents are outnumbered by hundreds of thousands of square feet of space in the self-storage facilities in Milford.

She said that the self-storage industry recommended standard for need is about seven square feet of self-storage per capita. Applying this formula, every person in Milford could rent self-storage space totaling 371,000 square feet, and still fall below the 469,000 square feet that five of the seven self-storage facilities currently offer.

“Self-storage units are typically developed on very large sites and generate very few jobs,” Nash said last year. “We would like to insure that any future development is appropriately geared toward that which will result in greater financial impact to better the city and its residents by generating domino effect business and creating more jobs.”

Jill Dion contributed to this story.