Storage facility to move forward

By on May 22, 2014

Village to work with owners on road improvement requirement
ELBURN—Elburn residents Laura and Brent Dempsey will move forward with their plans for a storage facility, now that the village has agreed to work with them on road improvement requirements. The village owns the other side of the road.

The Dempseys plan to open a storage facility on 6.5 acres at South and Thryselius streets that will eventually include 14 buildings with 32 to 36 storage units per facility. The Dempsey’s initial plans are for two buildings, and to continue to build two buildings a year until the project is complete.

They estimate that full build-out would take eight years, based on occupancy and economic considerations.

But Laura told the Village Board on Monday night that they would not be able to move forward with the business if they have to pay for the road improvements required in the village’s subdivision ordinance.

“It doubles our project,” she said. “We wouldn’t be able to afford both.”

The village’s subdivision ordinance requires a developer to fully improve the road that provides frontage for the development. Since the current road is gravel, the improvements would be extensive and would include curbs and storm sewers. The cost would be approximately $1 million.

“It’s cost-prohibitive,” Village President Dave Anderson said.

Laura said that when they purchased the lot two years ago, they were not aware of the ordinance’s requirement. She said she did not believe their business would increase the traffic or use of the road; since once tenants store their belongings, they rarely return.

The couple had gone before the Plan Commission to ask for the variance. Although Plan Commissioners were generally sympathetic, they did not recommend the variance, leaving the decision to the Village Board.

The board said the village would be willing to work out an agreement with the business owners that would not involve a variance, and would leave it to village staff to work out the details.

The name of the business is South Street Storage. Laura said their buildings will be unique, in that the internal walls would be moveable, allowing them to make the units smaller or larger, depending on the customer’s needs.

“Ultimately, this is where we want to be,” she said. “The facility is 7 minutes from our house. Also, it’s important to us to be part of the community.”

She said there are three other storage companies in town, and they are almost all full.

“The number one thing that people store is exercise equipment,” she said.