Self-Storage Zoning Text Amendment Considered by 27 Community Boards and Four Borough Presidents

Image credit: DCP

Process underway for a zoning text amendment to require a City Planning Commission Special Permit for new self-storage facilities within the City’s industrial business zones. In May 2017, the City Planning Commission sent out for consideration, as part of the ULURP process, a proposed zoning text amendment to limit the proliferation of self-storage in Industrial Business Zones. The amendment is currently being considered by the 27 Community Boards that would be affected by the amendment.

The amendment would require that proposed self-storage developments receive a special permit from the City Planning Commission in designated areas. Consideration for future applications would include zoning lot size, building configuration, proximity to truck routes, capacity of local streets, investment in comparable sites, need for environmental remediation, and potential for conflict between potential and existing uses in the surrounding area. Warehouses and moving companies will not be subject to the special permit requirement.

In November 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a 10-point Industrial Action Plan with the goal of strengthening core industrial areas, investing in industrial and manufacturing businesses, and advancing workforce development. The Plan focused on Industrial Business Zones as a target for economic development, and included tax incentives and pledges not to rezone for residential use.

The Department of City Planning has identified the unregulated development of self-storage facilities in Industrial Businesses Zones as a detractor to the Mayor’s vision for these area. City Planning has highlighted that self-storage facilities are seen as a low job-generating use that primarily serve household and not businesses. These facilities also tend to be located on truck routes and highways which are optimal sites for industrial businesses. In the last seven years, self-storage developments have represented almost a quarter of new construction in these manufacturing zones.

The proposed amendment would apply to designated manufacturing districts which largely coincide with Industrial Business Zones across four of the five boroughs. The designated areas fall under the jurisdiction of 27 different Community Districts: Bronx 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, and 12; Brooklyn 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 16, 17, and 18; Queens 1, 2, 5, 9, 10, 12, and 13; and, Staten Island 1, 2, and 3.

The Community Boards and Borough Presidents have until July 30, 2017, to send comments and recommendations to the City Planning Commission. The Commission will hold a public hearing soon after.

By: Jonathon Sizemore (Jonathon is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2016).

3 thoughts on “Self-Storage Zoning Text Amendment Considered by 27 Community Boards and Four Borough Presidents

  1. many of the community boards are AGAINST this item I am hoping you will be updating this article with that follow up info,

  2. If many of the newer self-storage facilities are in industrial areas perhaps it is because it is difficult to find places for them in residential areas. But to essentially ban them is unfair; they serve as our residential urban attics. What should be addressed is regulation of these facilities because of their unbridled yearly increase in storage fees for no added value, especially since many of them do not receive real property tax assessments on a regular basis.

  3. Don’t they allow hotels in industrial zones? Self-storage is basically warehousing and makes a lot more sense. I’d say, restrictions should be on hotels in these areas.

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