The request for a Variance of Use from Star Plymouth LLC from Rochester, NY was tabled last week during the Plymouth Board of Zoning Appeals meeting. 

The new property owner did not attend the meeting in person but was online.  He told the board their company has been in business for four years and they currently have 30 facilities in various stages around the U.S.  They purchase vacant and destressed buildings and repurpose them into indoor climate-controlled self-storage facilities. Star Plymouth LLC purchased the property at 320 North Kingston in January of this year.

City Plan Consultant Ralph Booker read a letter presented to the BZA Wednesday night.  It said they will bring the property up to a first-class condition with their conversion. Improvements are dependent on each location’s needs but could include façade upgrades including signage and fresh paint, parking areas are improved by filling potholes and deteriorated areas are fixed and if needed they will seal coat, and strip the parking lot.  They will upgrade the exterior lighting to code-compliant LED lighting and upgrade the landscaping.   

The company indicates that it will maintain the facility and keep it a first-class facility year-round.

The storage facility would be staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and they will install a state-of-the-art security system with keypad access control and security cameras on the interior and exterior. 

The loading and unloading will happen on the outside of the facility and use carts provided to move their materials into storage units.  Increased traffic is expected to be 2 to 7 vehicles daily.  They don’t create much trash, noise, or water issues. 

BZA member Mark Gidley called 4 of the communities the company has repurposed to investigate their operations.   He told the property owner, “We will probably put you through the paces here.  While the building is blighted, we don’t just want to put lipstick on a pig. We want this thing to look good.”  He has some concerns with the office space and the old dentist’s office at the back of the property. 

The retail part will be through their office selling boxes, tape, bags, and various moving items.  There is also a church using a portion of the property and they will hopefully continue in some space in this facility. 

During the Public Hearing Delbert Lang who lives on Warana Court is concerned with the pond in his backyard where the stormwater drains into. 

A neighbor of the property Dave Morrow said he has never seen a storage unit esthetically beautiful or even nice and was concerned about property values.  He said, “This property has been bad for 30 years.  I just don’t want to see you put a band-aid on it and in a few years, it will be run down again.”

It was estimated the facility would be open in 8 to 12 months once the Variance of Use is granted.

Chris Morrow warned the BZA to not just jump on the first opportunity.  She said a rendering is a fair request before deciding on the request. 

With no drawings or artistic renditions, the Plymouth BZA tabled the request for additional information.