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.
Kraig Domogalla requested a conditional-use permit for outdoor storage at his business, ABC Mini Storage, 13624 Hanson Blvd. The storage business is in an area of the city that has been redeveloping for years. Elected officials who supported the request felt the owner of ABC Mini Storage, Kraig Domogalla, had an appropriate proposal to add plastic slats to a fence in order to screen the property. They also felt the addition would meet the needs of outdoor storage that some residents have who are unable to fit large equipment on their properties.
Mayor Mike Gamache has heard from residents who would like a place to store their bigger equipment and councilmember Mike Knight also believes there is a need for such storage.
“There’s a need for this in our city,” Gamache said. “I’ve had people come to me a number of times since I’ve been mayor saying, ‘Do we have any sites where I can store my boat? Where I can store my RV?’ And we really don’t.”
Aesthetics were the major concern for dissenting councilmembers Sheri Bukkila, Don Jacobson and Julie Trude, who did not care for the idea of boats, RVs and trailers even being partially visible from any angle. Jacobson has visited many other storage facilities over the years and has not liked the look of outdoor storage areas he saw there.
“The city spent… $11 million to $13 million to clean up the junk yards and we brought it right up to Kottke’s at that point and we redeveloped the area,” Jacobson said. “In fact there was a meeting tonight before this meeting where there was some discussion about some areas around Kottke’s that there may be some possibilities and some changes coming, and I would hate to see this area filled up with parked vehicles and stuff when we’re trying to redevelop the areas extremely close to it.”
Owner Domogalla proposed adding plastic slats to the existing fence that is visible from Bunker Lake Boulevard and Grouse Street in order to screen the large trailers and boats. Domogalla said the fence is six feet tall, but the storage area is in a lower area so the true visual barrier would be higher than six feet.
By adding the outdoor storage area, Domogalla said he adds more revenue to his business, which he feels would improve his property value and thus the property values of the neighboring business.
“I think at the end of the day, that’s what this is all about,” he said. “We want all our business owners to be successful and help them along. And by me improving my site it makes my neighbors stronger and that’s how a business area works.”
“Self-Storage Owner in Minnesota Denied Permit to Build Outdoor Storage.” Inside Self-Storage. July 28, 2011.
Hagen, Eric. “Andover Council Denies Storage Businesses’ Outdoor Storage Request.” ABCNewspapers.com. July 28, 2011.