One community East of Manhattan has had enough with self storage facilities infiltrating their city. Smithtown, NY, council members are appealing to block zoning laws that would allow units to be built taller than the currently allowed 24 feet, or two stories. This maximum height does fluctuate depending on which district you fall under, as it can vary to 35 or even 50 feet in some industrial areas.
Zoning variances are often won by many facilities that allow them to break this ordinance and grow beyond 2 floors. Given the understandably high real estate prices in this particular region, building additional floors onto a facility is naturally the most affordable means by which to grow your facility’s rentable square footage.
The root of the backlash is primarily because the city of Smithtown is undergoing a larger plan that involves making the downtown sector more appealing, and on paper, many believe self storage facilities are not a way to do that.
Smithtown planning director stated “You will still have a lot of zoning restrictions in place, such as height, gross floor area, parking spaces, buffers, so I feel everyone is protected.”
Others within the community feel that the city should mandate a moratorium on all self storage facilities in order to better maintain a balance and drive down the abundance. Maintaining a cap on the height of the facilities will also help to set the notion that other asset classes, such as hotels, will have to follow the the same restrictions.