B’ham City Council imposes temporary moratorium on new self-storage facilities

Temporary ban on self-storage facilitates

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The city of Birmingham voted Tuesday to impose a temporary ban on new self-storage facilities opening within city limits.

This gives the city time to evaluate current zoning after getting complaints from neighbors about the facilities. The moratorium is for six months with an option to add on another 90 days.

Residents and business owners complained that self-storage facilities do not generate enough revenue or fit the planning goals of certain neighborhoods.

Plans to convert the building on the corner of 6th Ave and 24th St. S into a three story, climate controlled, storage facility is now on hold, just 30 days after the building was purchased. City leaders claimed they were unsure it's the best use of the property.

"A lot of our revenue comes from businesses, occupational tax, sales tax," said Councilor Darrell O'Quinn (District 5). "That revenue goes back into paving our streets, fixing sidewalks, {and} providing services. "

Most of the business owners and residents who spoke at Tuesday’s council meeting were in favor of the moratorium.

“The owners of property down there trying to revitalize this area and bring in more revenue for the city,” said Sherry Tobia.

Tobia is the co-owner of Bresco, a restaurant supplier, located on 6th Ave.

She sent WBRC this statement:

We supported the moratorium because we felt the city being in the middle of evaluating zoning changes was not the right time to allow another storage facility on prime real estate when it would not be allowed under new zoning for our area. We will follow what happens to zoning in the next few months. We are not anti-development; we just want appropriate development for a changing neighborhood.
Sherry Tobia

Shelia Chaffin owns the Hassinger Daniels Mansion Bed and Breakfast on Highland Ave in Highland Park and Cobb Lane Bed and Breakfast on 19th St. S in Five Points West. Chaffin, a retired architect and city planner turned business owner, lives up the road from Richard Arrington Boulevard where a seven story, self-storage facility is under construction.

“All of a sudden there is been a great interest of developers to start making them and the trouble is, where they are proposing to do it, it’s not where you’d want them to be,” Chaffin said.

Chaffin said the city is doing the right thing by stopping other similar businesses from moving in.

“The master plan has not come through to organize where different land uses should go. It also means certain zoning categories are outdated,” Chaffin said.

Representatives for the new owners of the sixth avenue building told council the moratorium is unnecessary. They said the plan to renovate the building is flexible and can be amended to fit with the culture of the Southside.

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