Contributing Editors



The Self Storage Industry: Where Practicality Meets Politics

by Winnie Hsiu February 10, 2012 7:20 PM
If there is anything that can be said for the self storage industry, it is the fact that it is pretty practical. People need space (for any of a number of reasons). A self storage facility offers space to be used for a certain price; need identified and satisfied. Now if only the world of modern day politics could be so practical? [More]

Minnesota Self Storage Owner Denied Outdoor Storage Permit

by John Stevens July 28, 2011 3:17 PM
A self storage owner in Andover, Minn. was denied by the city council by a 3-2 vote his request to develop outdoor storage for trailers, RVs, boats and other vehicles even though there’s a need for such self storage in the area. Council members who voted against the request cited aesthetic concerns, claiming it is not the direction of redevelopment they’d like to pursue. [More]

Sprinkler Fire Code Changed For Storage Facilities in Urbandale, Iowa

by John Stevens February 11, 2011 10:50 AM
Despite petitions from nearby residents and businesses, as well as the city’s fire chief, the Urbandale, Iowa, City Council approved an amendment to its fire code this week, allowing self storage facilities under 12,000 sq. ft. to be built without fire sprinklers. [More]

MA Self Storage Site Considered for Cell Tower

by Kim Kilpatrick October 7, 2010 8:25 AM
Increasingly, as self storage businesses, like other small businesses, adjust to the recession, many are looking at the possibility of leasing space to cell phone companies for placement of a cell tower. The latest self storage company to consider adding a cell tower to its property is Kane Self Storage, of Marlborough, Massachusetts. [More]

CA City to Use Federal Recovery Funds to Convert Racing Horse Barns to Self Storage

by Tony Gonzalez September 10, 2010 7:48 AM
City council members in Pomona, California, this week approved a proposal to convert six racing horse barns a self storage facility. The facility will become part of a business center, converted from another six racing horse barns, that will include office, warehouse, and light industrial space. Funding for the project will come from federal recovery bonds issued as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. [More]

Florida Self Storage Owner Fights Fire Service Tax

by Kim Kilpatrick September 2, 2010 3:51 PM
In many states, fire departments facing budget deficits are responding by charging fees to local area residents for fire service -- fees for equipment used, for the time served by firefighters fighting a fire (including overtime for night fires), etc. Some states, though, have banned the practice of fire departments charging fire victims for their services. Florida is one of those states. However, a few localities are getting around the ban a different way -- by assessing a new tax on businesses and homeowners. The tax is often called the fire service tax or fire service fee. Now a Florida self storage owner is leading the fight against fire service fees in the city of Brooksville. [More]

NC Self Storage Owner Changing Shape of Local Politics

by John Stevens July 15, 2010 10:35 PM
A High Point, North Carolina real estate and self storage owner has emerged as a driving force in local politics and an upcoming local election, even though he is not running for office himself. Sanders Dallas III, of Winston-Salem, runs a real estate and self storage business in the same space that once housed his father’s furniture store. Recently, Dallas organized a group of businesspeople from the High Point business community to discuss ways to improve the local economy. While the group has no formal name, many members refer to it as “Comeback High Point,” after the book Comeback America: Turning the Country Around and Restoring Fiscal Responsibility, by David Walker. (Walker is an author who works to raise awareness about the U.S. economy and current national debt.) [More]

Local Governments Regulate Use of Portable Self Storage Units

by Winnie Hsiu April 30, 2010 11:16 AM
In several communities across the country, local governments are regulating the use of portable self storage containers in front yards, driveways, and on local streets. During the month of April, at least three cities have passed or are considering ordinances regulating the use of portable containers: Wausau, Wisconsin; Springfield, Missouri; and Baltimore, Maryland. [More]

CA Self Storage Unit Used to Hide Base of Cell Phone Tower

by Winnie Hsiu April 28, 2010 10:32 AM
Last night, the community of Brentwood, California approved AT&T's planned construction of a cell phone tower in a self storage facility in a commercial park. The base of the tower will be located inside a storage unit at TownCentre Self Storage, and the top of the tower will be disguised as a fake pine tree. The choice to put the tower inside a self storage unit and to make it look like a pine tree were meant to allay concerns that some neighboring business owners had about the aesthetic appearance of the tower. [More]

Self Storage Facility Zoning Change Approved Based on Lower Parking Needs

by Winnie Hsiu April 23, 2010 11:17 AM
A California community has approved the conversion of an office building into a self storage facility based in part on the lower parking needs of the self storage facility compared to the amount of parking that would have been needed for office use. The Planning Commission of Capitola, California, had initially recommended against amending the city code to allow self storage in a community commercial zone, hoping that it would be possible to encourage retailers to make use of the space. Ultimately, though, council members at last night's Capitola City Council meeting decided the matter based on traffic flow, parking and lighting issues, rather than focusing on how the space would be used. [More]
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