Lee's Summit Journal

Business owners, residents say ‘not so fast’ to LS storage biz

Mayor Bill Baird suggested more “open dialogue or public hearing” before approving a self-storage business on Southeast Oldham Parkway.
Mayor Bill Baird suggested more “open dialogue or public hearing” before approving a self-storage business on Southeast Oldham Parkway. File photo

Two weeks after giving preliminary approval to a proposed self-storage business on Southeast Oldham Parkway, the Lee’s Summit City Council on Thursday voted to send it back for more work after neighbors raised additional concerns about the project.

The council voted 8-1 to remand back to the planning commission the preliminary development plan and special-use permit application for Extra Space of Lee’s Summit, which is being proposed on 2.8 acres at 700 S.E. Oldham Court.

The developer, WSKF Architects Inc., wants to construct four buildings containing 129,390 square feet of storage on the site. Three of the buildings would be one level and provide 54 outdoor storage units while the fourth building would have three stories and a basement and provide 620 indoor climate-controlled units.

WSKF has asked for the special-use permit required for the storage business to last 25 years before they would have to ask for a renewal.

The largest storage building, which would be 45 feet tall, would back up to U.S. 50, so city staff persuaded the developers to add higher quality architectural details.

The council on Aug. 9 voted 8-1 to give preliminary approval to the site plan for the project and voted 7-2 to give preliminary approval to the special-use permit.

Council members Rob Binney and Diane Forte objected to the development, saying that while they appreciated the higher-quality architecture, the building would still be a storage business visible from the key U.S. 50 and Missouri 291 arteries.

On Thursday, the council was supposed to provide final approval to the storage facility, but a number of nearby business owners who did not attend the Aug. 9 meeting spoke against the proposal.

Dennis Klein, who owns 50 Highway Self Storage at 953 S.E. Oldham Parkway, estimated that there were nine other storage facilities within a 4-mile radius of his property and adding another one would hurt his business and property values.

“There are existing class-A facilities in Lee’s Summit,” Klein said, adding that not one is full.

Chris Mattix, an attorney representing the owners of the Super 8 hotel just west of the property, criticized the project for requiring a number of exemptions from city guidelines, such as measures to screen the business from public view and minimum distance from adjacent property owners. He also said the storage business could open as early as 6 a.m., potentially disturbing the hotel’s guests.

Mike Collier said his Vista Del Verde neighborhood across U.S. 50 from the project already is dealing with storm water problems caused by development in the area. He is also regional manager for a Perkins Restaurant next to the Super 8 and said he worried the storage business would make it harder for his customers to reach the restaurant.

“My fear is that most people move in and out of storage facilities on the weekend, and we’re going to have a big traffic block up there with U-Hauls and different trucks trying to get in and out of this little service road,” Collier said.

Mayor Bill Baird said planners should reevaluate the project in light of the neighbors’ concerns and consider additional changes, if necessary. If not, and the council ultimately denies the proposal, he said he wanted to make sure all the information was on the record.

“Since (the first vote) we’ve learned more information, but we’ve not had what I would consider an open dialogue or public hearing in which all of the facts and figures are brought forth,” Baird said.

Binney continued his opposition to the project and voted against sending the project back.

In other business, the council voted 8-1 to give final approval to a series of financial incentives for Summit Square II, a 326-unit luxury apartment complex at the corner of Norheast Tudor Road and Northwest Ward Road.

NorthPoint Development has asked the city to sell almost $48.5 million in industrial revenue bonds, which would allow the developer to buy construction materials without paying sales tax. The city would not be responsible for paying off the bonds. In addition, NorthPoint plans to pay a “payment in lieu of tax” beginning at $1,135 a unit instead of regular property tax over the project’s first 12 years.

Binney voted against the incentives and said he didn’t think they were necessary.

David Twiddy: dtwiddy913@gmail.com