In 1980, the city of Vallejo, California, created an industrial Park. The main purpose was for research, development, and commercial uses. At the time, access by Sonoma Boulevard and Interstate 780 were considered prime features that would entice businesses to locate in the industrial park.
In 2005, the city approved a development permit for a proposed self storage facility to be built in the industrial park on one of the last major vacant parcel of property. The facility was never built and the permits lapsed because of financing issues.
Meanwhile, the planning commission changed the zoning in that area and those changes prohibited self storage facilities. Jack Anthony, who bought the land in 2004, approached the city last year in an effort to build his self storage facility because he had found a new development partner. When he approached the city officials, the officials discovered that the zoning changes hadn’t been properly adopted through city council approval.
This past Tuesday when the city officials met, there were mixed feelings. Some council members felt that since the area already had 10 self storage businesses that the land could be put to better use. Some officials also argued that a self storage business wouldn’t bring very many jobs into the area.
However, other officials brought up the issue about the nearby wastewater treatment plant. One council member indicated that having the wastewater treatment nearby in the area deters some business from locating in the industrial park. Anthony didn’t mind building his self storage facility near the treatment plant.
A typical process that waste treatment plants perform is to expose the sewage to air. This causes some of the dissolved gases (like hydrogen sulfide) to be released from the water. These gases often spell like rotten eggs. This is what often upsets residents and businesses that are located near a waste treatment plant. (Then, the wastewater gets processed through a filtration system that removes solids, gets rid of bacteria, and removes the odor.)
Some council members questioned what the vision for the industrial park was. They felt that a storage facility would tarnish the park’s image. Other officials gave the rebuttal that while a self storage business might not have been in the original plans for the industrial park having a business on the property was better than having a vacant lot that didn’t generate any revenues.
At the end of the meeting, the city council voted 4 to 3 to approve the zoning rules to allow Anthony to build his storage facility.
“Vallejo City Council Oks storage facility for business park.” Times-Herald Local News; 23 April 2014.
“The Primary Treatment Process.” USGS.