City of Palm Coast Hits Self Storage Controversy Head-On.

Inevitable growth inevitably spawns self-storage units. Why shouldn’t Palm Coast reap the excessive storage business profits rather than greedy developers?

PALM COAST, FL – **APRIL 1, 2022** — We are a society of hoarders. Our three and four-bedroom homes and two or three-car garages are not big enough to hold possessions that we cannot, or will not, dispose of.

According to the 2020 Self Storage Demand Study by Self-Storage Association, nearly 10.6% of all U.S. households rent a self-storage unit: increasing from 11,806,381 to 13,495,671 between 2017 and 2020. Reportedly, a self-storage facility begins making a profit at 60% to 70% of capacity (as of November 2019). It takes one to two years to reach 90% capacity.

Despite the industry’s growth inevitability, a vocal cottage industry of residents has assumed the task of resisting all new development, most notably self-storage facilities. Regarding the development of two self-storage facilities on Old Kings Road, their efforts have included extended public comment at Planning Board and City Council meetings and a lawsuit naming both the developers and the city as defendants.

The City Council has met the issue head-on. In an unnoticed meeting, council members nipped this trend in the bud. In the secret session, the council found that greedy developers were taking undue advantage of the storage market imbalance. The council boldly banned further private development of self-storage facilities within Palm Coast. In the future, all self-storage facilities will be built and operated by the city.

The city’s cost to develop the new facilities will be funded through a newly imposed Self-Storage Impact Fee of $7,000 per new housing unit; single-family, duplex unit, apartment, or condominium. The fee will cover the estimated $60 per square foot for site development and construction cost for a typical 10 X 10 square foot storage unit plus land acquisition costs.

The beauty of this solution is twofold. First, the zoning and permitting phase (including public hearings and comments) will be bypassed. Second, the excessive profits, formerly the exclusive purvey of the greedy developers, will go to the city coffers to be shared by taxpayers.

Having said that, I remind readers that today is April 1, or April Fool’s Day. Though the statistics and comments on citizen activism are valid, the reported city council actions are pure April Fool’s Day BS. I hope you enjoyed reading this piece as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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