Some village residents say a self-storage business on Livingston St. wouldn’t be a good fit for the neighborhood, but village officials say the zoning would allow it.
Residents packed the July 8 Planning Board public hearing to object to a proposal to construct a 20-unit storage facility at 42 Livingston St., currently a parking lot.
Khattar Elmassalemah, project engineer for the developer, 42 Livingston Street, LLC, said the facility would be for local residents who live in apartments and have no place to store their belongings.
The facility would be walk-in only, with off-street parking for customers to park their vehicles and either carry or roll their items to their storage units. The whole thing would be fenced in, said Elmassalemah.
As part of the project, the developer would also repair the cracked and broken sidewalk along Livingston and First streets.
Charles Perry, of Livingston St., objected to the project. He said he’s looked at the local area and found there are four other storage facilities within a five-mile radius and they all have a 60 percent vacancy rate.
“There is no need for this,” Perry said.
Another resident noted that there are 15 Section 8 housing units in the neighborhood and those folks won’t have the money to rent these units.
Other residents said the facility would be “incongruous” in a residential neighborhood.
Tom Charest, who owns a building at 41 Livingston St., said letting a storage facility be located in the neighborhood would make it difficult to rent out his apartment units.
“These shouldn’t be in a residential neighborhood,” he said.
Village Code Enforcement Officer Eyal Saad differed, pointing out that the zoning for the area is mixed use, business/commercial.
Board member Mary Leahy called the project “a disgrace,” but said when evaluating a project, “it can’t be about what we like, but what the law says.”
“And because this area was always a business zone, this type of project was always allowed,” said board attorney Alex Betke.
Board Chair Jeff Helmuth said the board would keep the public hearing open, but only for written comments until its next meeting on Aug. 11.
Residents said in the coming weeks prior to the next meeting they would be submitting a petition with 61 signatures objecting to the proposal.