BY MARIE PULEO, POMPANO BEACH NEWS REPORTER
The City Commission, at its Sept. 24 meeting, unanimously approved an ordinance placing a temporary moratorium on the construction of any new self-storage facilities within Pompano Beach, based on a study that shows the city’s market for the self-storage industry is overbuilt.
“This is long overdue,” said Mayor Rex Hardin of the moratorium.
Members of the City Commission expressed concern that self-storage facilities have a large footprint, but don’t create many jobs.
Vice Mayor Barry Moss said they are “hulking buildings” that employ a handful of people and bring very little revenue or economic development to the city.
The City hired a consultant to conduct a supply and demand analysis of self-storage facilities in the Pompano Beach market, as well as in surrounding cities. The study showed there is an overabundance of self-storage facilities in Pompano Beach based on the city’s current and projected future population.
As a result, the City wants time to study its zoning code and potentially enact code revisions to ensure there is no clustering or continued overbuilding of self-storage facilities.
During the moratorium, which will be for a period of six months, the City will not process any applications or issue any permits for the construction of additional self-storage facilities.
According to the analysis, there are currently 28 self-storage facilities in Pompano Beach. Based on a population of approximately 100,000, the city has about 21 square feet of self-storage space per resident. Of the nine cities reviewed, Pompano Beach had the highest number of self-storage facilities and square feet per resident.
In addition, there are five new self-storage facilities that have either been approved or are currently under review, according to City staff.
As a comparison, the self-storage market in Fort Lauderdale was also found to be oversaturated, but not as much as in Pompano Beach. In Fort Lauderdale, which has a population of approximately 180,000, there are 26 self-storage facilities, and about 8.6 square feet of self-storage space per resident.
Nationwide, there are approximately 45,500 self-storage facilities, and 5.4 square feet of self-storage space per U.S. resident. In Florida, there are approximately 2,600 self-storage facilities, and 6.3 square feet of self-storage space per resident.
Hardin said the moratorium “will allow staff to take a look at this and figure out how we can go forward.”
The code could be amended to allow self-storage facilities in some zoning districts only by special exception, instead of “by right,” as is currently the case. This would enable staff to examine each application individually and look at neighborhood needs.
The City could also impose higher design standards for these facilities, as well as standards to address active ground level uses.
The new ordinance includes a provision for any property owner who was in the process of applying to build a self-storage facility before the moratorium was enacted. These applicants will be able to file a claim of “vested rights” with the City and have their case reviewed.
The moratorium can be terminated prior to six months, or extended, if necessary, by ordinance of the City Commission.
In June, the Planning and Zoning Board voted unanimously to recommend to the City Commission that the moratorium be enacted.
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