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CONCORD – A developer is working on a plan that could bring a nearly 500-unit self-storage facility near Highway 601 in Concord.

Sterling Development submitted an application for a Special Use Permit for a three-level storage facility on 3.73 acres of land at 1261 Union Street South.

The proposal will go before the city of Concord Zoning and Planning Commission at its Oct. 15 meeting at 6 p.m. at Concord City Hall.

Homeowners in the area say they are opposed to the development, and that they found out about the self-storage facility from a sign on a telephone pole.

“I’ve heard from the people across the street and maybe 20-some people on the Nextdoor app,” said Chris Criner, who owns a home in the residential neighborhood. “They are also pretty upset about it. It was almost like they tried to sneak one by us.”

Developer Clint Patterson, from Sterling Development, said they went through the proper procedures to purchase the land from the current landowner.

“No one has tried to sneak anything by anyone,” Patterson said. “Protocol for development was followed as always.”

The land is under contract but not yet owned by Sterling Development.

The developer was approved to move forward with the site plan, which will be discussed in October.

“With the Special Use, you have to go in front of the planning commission and say, ‘here’s my façade, here’s my site plan,’” Patterson said. “The planning staff wants to know that it meets all of the ordinances from the façade and setbacks and everything else, and at that point, the review is based on facts.”

The land is zoned commercial, C-2, but Patterson submitted the Special Use Permit application required to build the self-storage unit, which just confirms that the developer meets all of the city ordinances.

“In order to permit a self-storage in C-2, it requires a Special Use Permit,” said Steve Osborne, Concord Planning and Neighborhood Development director. “They have to go to the planning commission, and it’s a quasi-judicial type of hearing, and the commission would consider it based on the evidence that’s submitted before them. Then they really have to determine if the use is appropriate at that location.”

Patterson was originally set to propose his plan to the planning commission at Tuesday’s meeting, but Osborne said the developers have to do some more refining.

Sterling Development, based in Indiana, is planning to develop a three-story, climate-controlled self-storage facility along Union Street South. Two smaller non-climate drive-up buildings will be to the back of the property.

The developer builds multifamily housing communities and self-storage facilities throughout the Midwest and Southeastern United States.

Criner said a group of neighborhood residents plan to voice its concerns at next month’s meeting.

“We think it doesn’t really fit with the character of the neighborhood, and we are frankly opposed to it,” Criner said. “We are going to bring as many people as we can to the hearing. We hope to have strength in numbers. We are going to try the best we can.”

Patterson said that not one person reached out to complain to him or the City of Concord as of Friday.

The parcel of land at 1261 Union St. S. would be on the fringe of residential and commercial zones, according to Osborne.

The storage facility would be near the intersection of Warren C. Coleman Boulevard and Union Street South and not far from Highway 49.

The planned facility is also near the residential neighborhoods of Accent Avenue, Krimminger Avenue, Arrowhead Drive and the residential homes on Union Street South.

“You have quite a bit of residential around it, but it’s also right at the intersection of Warren C. Coleman and Union Street, and Highway 49 is right in there,” Osborne said. “It’s right on the fringe of commercial and residential. There’s a lot of commercial around it. On the other hand, there’s also quite a bit of residential around it.”

Criner said residents aren’t against commercial development in their neighborhood.

They are left wondering why more storage units are needed, he added.

“Why do they perceive that there is a demand to this type of service around here?” Criner asked.

Patterson said the self-storage facility will not be pushing up against the residential neighborhood, plus the trees in the back and side on the land are staying as a buffer.

Patterson said studies and research show that self-storage units are needed within a three-mile ring.

The self-storage facility will have three to five employees, including a property manager, leasing personnel and maintenance.

“It helps a need in that market. We don’t just find a piece of land that is zoned or semi-zoned and say this is a great place for a storage unit,” Patterson said. “We look at a three-mile ring when we are developing self-storage because that’s your sub-market.”

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