Critics plan to appeal the Planning Commission’s vote earlier this month to allow a self-storage facility to open on Knott Avenue.
“We do not want storage units in West Anaheim,” said Esther Wallace, chairwoman of WAND, the West Anaheim Neighborhood Development Council, an organization that successfully fought the building of three other self-storage facilities in West Anaheim.
Wallace said self-storage facilities do not add any beauty to the city, only concrete, and they take up space that might be used for better purposes. She added that Anaheim already has 20 self-storage facilities and doesn’t need more.
The property in question, formerly owned by Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co., now consists of empty concrete buildings and a large parking lot, all surrounded by barbed wire. In a mixed commercial and residential neighborhood, it’s flanked on one side by apartment buildings and on the other by the back of a strip mall.
Irv Pickler, a consultant for the project, said the facility would be landscaped, thus improving the property’s appearance.
With empty storefronts already in the area, Pickler said other types of commercial development for the land would be a risky venture. And Pickler said other uses are also impractical because of the property’s shape.
The city allows self-storage facilities only on irregularly shaped parcels. Although the property is rectangular and therefore a regular shape, most of the land stretches behind the area facing the street, giving it a somewhat irregular configuration. The Planning Commission, in its Nov. 22 vote approving the facility, agreed with Pickler that, although having a regular shape, the property is ill-suited for other commercial uses. In its report to the commission, the city’s staff disagreed and recommended denial of the project.
Ultimately, the decision whether to allow the self-storage facility will depend on the council’s interpretation of its rules requiring placement of self-storage facilities on irregularly shaped parcels.
Judy Silber can be reached at (714) 966-5988.