Implementation of greenery and aesthetic improvements for a storage facility on an existing application was enough for the Buda City Council to give it the green light earlier this month.
By a 5-1 vote with one council member abstaining, the Buda City Council March 21 approved a special use permit (SUP) for the Class A Self Storage Facility along Goforth Road.
Council member Eileen Altmiller cast the lone dissenting vote, while council member Wiley Hopkins abstained from voting.
Council’s move came after the city’s Planning and Zoning commission denied the original application from Capella Capital Partners on Jan. 10.
Chance Sparks, Buda assistant city manager and planning director, said P&Z denied the SUP due to the facility’s proximity to other storage facilities, as well as design of the building.
Cappella applied for a three-story structure with approximately 589 units, 100 percent of which are climate controlled.
Ryan Shelton, of the Hohmann, Brophy and Shelton Law Firm PLLC, explained to council members his desire to see the “responsible growth” of Buda.
Shelton explained that Capella is a full service office/retail developer. After doing market research studies, Capella deduced the best use of the land at the location of the proposed site is a storage facility.
Shelton said that a major concern of the P&Z was the building looked “imposing and monolithic,” which Capella addressed by adding rain gardens along the buildings periphery, as well as more trees around the facility.
Shelton said Cappella would restrict access to the storage units on the upper levels by installing only one door to enter the main level with additional access once inside.
“Buda is underserved in the storage industry,” Shelton said as he explained that many businesses of the same kind tend to cluster together in order to generate more competition in the market.
But council member Eileen Altmiller disagreed and cited the proximity to the nearest self storage facility, which would be 500 feet from the proposed Class A site.
“If P&Z turned it down, we should turn it down too,” Altmiller said.
While Sparks said P&Z didn’t see the revised SUP application, Cappella had “addressed all concerns” P&Z board members had.
Council member George Haehn and Mayor Pro Tem Bobby Lane were both in favor of approval because the land in question had been vacant for a very long time and the facility would be a different self storage option for Buda residents.
Lee Urbanovsky asked if there was any retail potential for the site. Todd Daly, owner of Cappella, said only “Class C retail,” such as a Planet K or a nail salon would be interested in the land, along with automotive shops or gas stations.
He said no other retail industries, such as restaurants, would be interested based on the market study his company conducted.
Buda Mayor Todd Ruge voted to approve the facility because the design was unique among storage units being 100 percent climate controlled, and because the land had been vacant for long enough.
“It’s a good use for that land,” Ruge said, “I think it’s a good idea.”
Ruge said the approval of the SUP is only the start of the process and Capella will have to submit its design plans.
P&Z will have an opportunity to review the site plan.