Residents outnumbered by self-storage space: P&Z sets moratorium on self-storage facilities

The Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z) has approved a temporary moratorium on the construction of self-storage facilities, which will extend from Dec. 17, 2018 to June 30, 2019.  The board voted unanimously without commenting on the proposal at its Nov. 20 meeting.

Economic and Community Development Director Julie Nash made the request to the board. At the public hearing, Nash said the moratorium would provide city departments the opportunity to study what she called the “proliferation of these self-storage facilities in the context of the Plan of Conservation and Development.” She cited different cities around the country, which have imposed moratoriums or tightened regulations on self-storage facilities.

Nash said 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,” said Nash. “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.”

The only public comment came from Alderman Bryan N. Anderson (D-5), who said he was in favor of the moratorium for the reasons outlined by Nash.

City Planner David B. Sulkis said the moratorium would allow the city time to study the issue and create new regulations to govern the use of these facilities. Sulkis said the moratorium was prompted by a letter from the Economic Development Commission and by observations from zoning staff that there are multiple retail buildings in multiple Corridor Design Development Districts, “that could be attractive to this type of use.”

Sulkis said this use is “counter to the intent of the corridor districts as described in the Plan of Conservation and Development.” He said the city has heard inquiries from people about multiple buildings in the corridor districts, which he said are basically located along Route 1.

“I would strongly recommend that the board enact the moratorium, so we can study this and get a better handle and if this is a kind of use we want to see proliferate, whether it’s in those areas or other areas,” said Sulkis.

The board approved a self-storage facility for CT Self Stor at 33 Schoolhouse Road at its Aug. 18, 2015 meeting, and one for Lock Up Self Storage at 421 Bridgeport Ave., at its Dec. 15, 2015 meeting. Both facilities have been constructed.

According to online listings, other storage businesses in the city include CubeSmart Self-Storage at 90 Rowe Ave., Extra Space Storage at 488 Boston Post Road, EZ Access Self Storage at 540 New Haven Ave., Good Friend Self-Storage at 1599-B Boston Post Road, Hacienda Storage at 125 Old Gate Lane, and Life Storage at 1525 Boston Post Road.