Lansing residents voice concerns about special land use request

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At a recent Lansing city council meeting, a presentation was given by Devon Self Storage representative, Mike Olson gave a presentation to request permission for a special land use permit.

Devon Self Storage hoped to build its facility in south Lansing and replace the abandoned Sam’s Club at 340 E. Edgewood Blvd.

“We believe that we would be a great tenant to both the strip mall and the community,” Olson said.

Olson said the community is underserved by not having enough self storage based on the population.

“We took two hours to go knock on doors across the street and ask if they would want self storage at this location,” Olson said. “We talked to about 35 people and 29 said yeah we would love to have you here, and in all fairness we had four say they did not want you here.”

Along with speaking with local residents, Olson said that the local businesses in the strip mall wanted the self storage because it would add stability to the community.

“Many of the neighbors voiced the same concerns as some of the other business tenants: they are tired of the vandalism, they are tired of the burnouts in the parking lot,” Olson said. “Some said yeah, there’s a van that parked out there for two weeks and now he’s parking behind our place, so in general people want it filled.”

Adam Hussain, a city council member for Lansing, began asking questions, once Olson finished his presentation. 

“I am looking for long-term economic effects, so I’m not the temporary construction job at this point,” Hussain said. “how many on site jobs in perpetuity are going to be created by this development?”

“Typically we have two managers on site and that is who will manage the facility,” Olson said.

Hussain confirmed with Olson that there would be two jobs with an average pay of $17 to $18 per hour.

During public comment, resident Linda Appling spoke against the facility.

“Such a facility will not produce jobs for Lansing residents nor will it encourage development of small businesses, we already have four storage facilities,”Appling said. “As an alternative believe it or not, I would recommend you to encourage people to get rid of their clutter.” 

The proposed storage unit facility would have brought a long term tenant into the vacant building.

One resident, Nancy Mahlow, stated, “South Lansing and our city in general is saturated with storage units… How about a family entertainment area?”

Other neighbors shared her stance against the proposal of another storage unit facility in the area with 11 other citizens deciding to email their stances against the proposal to the council. This and the public comments against the new storage facility showed the council how local constituents felt about the matter. 

The company, Devon, based out of California, left several council members concerned that the ‘big bucks’ would not go to Lansing and the surrounding area aside from the property tax dollars. 

At the following city council meeting on February 27, it was unanimously decided that the special land use permit would not be approved. The council members instead wanted to opt for a possible future tenant that would bring more jobs to Lansing as well as more traffic to the South Lansing area. 
To watch the Lansing city council meeting click here.

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