SMPS Opposition to Proposed Changes to Ordinance 2021-0821

The San Marco Preservation Society stands in opposition to the proposed changes to Ord. 2021-0821, which would allow for self-storage use on the Southbank. The land is not currently zoned for such use, as designed by the DIA and DDRB. A developer now seeks an exception to the existing legislation in order to relax development standards  and allow for self-storage at this location.

The SMPS urges all neighbors who agree that self-storage should not be allowed on the Southbank (or anywhere in the downtown overlay) to attend the Land Use and Zoning (LUZ) Committee Meeting Tuesday, May 3 at 5:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers to make the neighborhood’s voice heard. Please fill out a speaker card and let the committee know that the neighborhood is opposed to self-storage at this location and to the proposed changes to Ord. 2021-0821.

Below is the letter sent on behalf of the Board of Directors to all City Councilmembers, the LUZ Committee, DDRB, and DIA CEO Lori Boyer:

Regarding Ordinance 2021-821, the San Marco Preservation Society opposes the proposed changes for the following reasons:

1. There are already specific areas within the downtown overlay that were previously identified in 2019 after over a year of analysis, public meetings, public input, and vetting by the Downtown Investment Authority as areas where personal property storage could be located by grant of exception. This ordinance (Ord. 2019-196) was a wholistic approach to changing legislation, and careful consideration was given to decide which areas are appropriate locations for this use by exception. The Southbank District, the Cathedral District, the Central Core district, the Sports and Entertainment District, and the Working Waterfront District were all intentionally excluded from this change. Ordinance 2019-196 was policy-driven legislation that was unanimously approved by both LUZ and City Council, supported by the DDRB and the DIA, and the public interest.

2. The areas that were identified as appropriate for personal property storage through exception, as a part of the 2019 legislation, were made subject to additional developmental standards for such facilities. Ord. 2021-821 relaxes those developmental standards in an area currently not approved, by exception or otherwise, for this use. There has not been a review or study conducted that shows these changes to be appropriate, nor does the San Marco Preservation Society see the reasons for such changes.

3. Seeing as there has only been one request for a personal property storage facility in the last six years, the San Marco Preservation Society does not see the need for this drastic change in legislation.

After careful consideration and discussion, the San Marco Preservation Society has concluded that the current Downtown Zoning Overlay, without the changes proposed, remains appropriate and serves the public interest.


Lauren Carlucci
Land Use and Zoning Chair/Vice President
San Marco Preservation Society