GRAFTON — The
permit for a new self-storage business in the town of Grafton is
being challenged by a competitor.
whose Bruno’s Self Storage is under construction at 2091 Highway W,
has filed a formal petition to appeal the conditional use permit
granted to RJ Investments. The Plan Commission in July gave owner
Laura Logan approval to construct and operate Meadowlark Storage, a
self-storage business at 1927 Highway W. The two parcels are
separated only by the Pace Distribution building. A public hearing
has been scheduled for Sept. 13 before the town’s Zoning Board of
actually shocked that the town approved another storage facility
just a few hundred yards away,” Hanney said earlier this month.
petition to appeal the Plan Commission’s approval deals with the
public hearing process for RJ Investments. Hanney argues that the
town did not adequately notify property owners in the vicinity of
the proposed Meadowlark Storage.
He said that
some property owners did not receive the notice at all, as required
by law, and those who did were not given enough information to
understand. A public hearing for Meadowlark Storage was held at the
June Plan Commission meeting; Hanney said that no one spoke during
public hearing, commissioners discussed the plan, but tabled a
decision until the July meeting, saying they needed additional
details on the site plan; they approved it at that next meeting.
Amanda Schaefer said this week that the town has record of the
notice being mailed to the owners of all the properties within 500
feet of the property being considered, as is required. She said the
town followed the exact same noticing process for Meadowlark Storage
as is always followed for public hearings.
did not receive the notice; his purchase of the property was recent,
however, and town records show it was sent to the previous property
Hanney said that
owner, who still holds a neighboring property, did not receive
“Not only were
we not notified, I think it’s unethical for the town to plop another
storage facility right next to me,” Hanney said.
The town code
does not include any ordinance limiting business proximity or
density; because there is no ordinance controlling how close
together businesses of the same kind are built, town staff said the
Plan Commission cannot reject a permit application for that reason.
petition claims that the notice sent to neighboring properties was
technically defective, because “interested parties in the vicinity
of the property had no opportunity to properly respond to the
application or attend the public hearing due to the fact that they
may have been misled by the inaccuracy of the public hearing/
Hanney said at
least one property owner near his business received the notice and
thought it was about Hanney’s business, not another storage business
being proposed, and disregarded it. The notice itself included a
letter to property owners stating there would be a hearing about a
property in their vicinity, their right to comment and how comments
could be made, as well as a copy of the agenda for that hearing. The
agenda stated the name of the applicant, RJ Investments, the correct
address for the property and that the petition was for rezoning and
conditional use permit for a rental storage business.
The letter also
included a link to the town website, where residents could view the
Plan Commission packet, including RJ Investments’ permit application
and details on the plan for the property.
his approvals for a 1,200 unit self-storage business last winter,
and intends to open the business this fall. He is renovating an