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  1. #1
    jcarlisle's Avatar
    jcarlisle is offline CM Emeritus, Reg. Member
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    Cool Getting Through the Zoning/Approval Process Faster

    For those of you with much experience in developing and building self-storage ...

    What advice do you have for getting through the municipal approval process in the fastest way possible? Obviously there are timelines and wait times that are unavoidable, but what can you do to avoid having your project continually pushed back?
    John Carlisle
    Community Manager Emeritus
    Still a Big Fan of Self-Storage!
    www.chicagoprowriter.com

  2. #2
    Steve_hajewski is online now Senior Member
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    Default Getting through the approvals process...

    In some respects this is a self-storage owner's first sales challenge... you have to sell them on your concept. Some people are going to be against the project based on preconcieved notions and stereotypes.

    I think a big part of succeeding is to go into the process armed with information and statistics, such as traffic counts and such. Know in advance what items you are willing to concede and which you cannot. Be ready to promote the positive features of your project, such as any potential job creation, your other ties to the community, etc.

    We did a webinar with the ISS on this topic... for anyone looking for more ideas, view it here: http://www.trachte.com/seminars-webinars/webinars.php.

    This webinar is from early 2008. One thing that has changed since then is that since there's less development, it's often possible to build in a site where the city would have rejected you two years ago. Back then they were holding out for a land use that would generate more jobs or tax revenue, where now a city planner may look at it and realize that self-storage is better than no development.

    Steve
    Trachte Building Systems

  3. #3
    MisterJim444 is offline Senior Member
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    Steve

    Those are great points. One of the most important strategies for success is doing your homework with all the abutting property owners. The days are over when developers can try to sneak a project through the municipal process. Contact the local homeowner’s association or civic organization and ask for the opportunity to conduct a brief presentation about your pending development.

    I have worked with clients that held open house type receptions in the afternoon and early evening with invitations sent out to all abutting and nearby residents and businesses along with elected officials. In one case, we got over 75% of the property owners to stop by – look at the plans – talk to the owner – architect – civil engineer. Some of the typical concerns about the unknown were eliminated and the two trouble makers were identified and resolutions to their problems negotiated in front of their neighbors. The public hearing for that project was actually a fun experience with local owners there talking in support of the project.

    I have to be honest that many times you will have people oppose your development just because they fight against everything. Over the years I have discovered those same people are the first ones to complain when their property taxes go up because their hasn’t been any additional development in the community.

    One other caution for folks who might be reading this and considering developing a self storage project for the first time. Make sure that you fully understand all the various impact fees that will be assessed on the project from all angles. In the tough economic times we are in, many communities are using every method possible to get money out of new projects to support their programs. In addition to highway impact fees, you find yourself being forced to pay for bike paths and various environmental programs. The total can be staggering and some lenders are refusing to include these fees in their construction funding.

    MisterJim444
    Learning Never Ends, But Will Time?

  4. #4
    jcarlisle's Avatar
    jcarlisle is offline CM Emeritus, Reg. Member
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    MisterJim,

    I'm sure you're quite familiar with the phrase NIMBYism. (Not in my backyard.)

    I've always thought it was an interesting word -- yet it's a terrible, progress-thwarting philosophy.
    John Carlisle
    Community Manager Emeritus
    Still a Big Fan of Self-Storage!
    www.chicagoprowriter.com

 

 

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