Birmingham City Council

Self-Storage on Montclair Allowed Despite Moratorium

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A self-storage facility on Montclair Road will be allowed to expand despite a citywide moratorium on such businesses, the Birmingham City Council decided Tuesday.

The council voted to allow Montclair Storage to continue with construction on a 10,000-square-foot expansion to its current facility, which had been roughly halfway completed when the council enacted the moratorium last month. The facility currently operates in a building formerly occupied by the now shuttered Montclair Baptist Medical Center; the expansion would also be on that property.

Representatives from the company argued that they should be exempted from the moratorium because their building permit predated the city’s ban.

The council voted July 2 to temporarily ban construction of new self-storage, mini-warehousing developments in the city, except in areas already zoned as planned industrial or industrial park districts. Councilors said the ban would allow the city time to finish its framework plan, which might result in some properties being rezoned.

Self-storage facilities were targeted specifically, said District 5 Councilor Darrell O’Quinn, because they do not have many employees and do not generate much sales tax and “thus do not contribute to increasing density and vibrancy of a downtown (area).” The moratorium is currently slated to last until Dec. 29, though the council will have the option to extend it through March 28, 2020.

Council President Valerie Abbott told developers that, while the expansion “might not have (been) approved if the moratorium existed” at the beginning of the development process, “This looks like a location we could allow to stand simply because it’s already in business.”

District 8 Councilor Steven Hoyt said that he was “not opposed” to allowing Montclair Storage to continue construction; he abstained from the final vote. All other councilors present voted yes.