Beckley Common Council passed a new city ordinance dealing with regulation of indoor and outdoor self-storage facilities during their Tuesday, Nov. 9, meeting.
According to City Attorney William File, who spoke during the meeting, the ordinance defines where self-storage facilities may be located in the city and provides language for their regulation.
The new ordinance expands chapter 15 of the Beckley Municipal Code to state that a conditional use permit is now required for self-storage facilities located in B-1 (neighborhood-highway business) and B-2 (general business) districts. It also permits use of self-storage facilities in manufacturing districts, File explained.
The city held their first reading of the ordinance back on Oct. 12. Then, during a special workshop on Nov. 1, the general feeling of the council was that language relating to shipping containers needed to be taken out of the proposed ordinance before a second reading.
In the special workshop, Councilmember Tom Sopher explained that his issue with the ordinance was that it stated shipping containers or storage containers would be prohibited throughout the city.
“You didn’t give much leeway,” Sopher said regarding missing language in the ordinance. He said that if a person goes behind Lowe’s they may see eleven shipping containers, or some behind Walmart and at various businesses in the city.
“I mean their [business and occupation tax], what they pay, far exceeds the problem that a shipping container would cause,” Sopher stated. “They use those.”
He also noted that it is becoming popular for people to use shipping containers as homes and small businesses.
Chief Code Enforcement Officer for the city, Donnie Morgan, said that the ordinance was drafted after he noticed several shipping containers “popping up in the more residential areas,” but that the ordinance was geared towards both temporary and long-term self-storage facilities.
“The self-storage facilities really need addressed,” he added. He suggested taking out the word “shipping container” so that regulation could begin on storage facilities in the city.
File read the amended version of the ordinance before the council’s ultimate passage. It was this new draft, omitting the phrase shipping container, that was passed.
In other Beckley business,
– Council accepted a bid from JH Building for $46,500 for roof repair on the Beckley Welcome Center;
– Council received notice of application for P&P, Inc. dba Cheers of Beckley to operate as a private club, private wine restaurant or tavern at 327 Neville Street. Mayor Rob Rappold stated that they are moving into the former Publicity establishment;
– Council reappointed Eddiena Schoolfield, Gary Sutphin and Kip Buchanon to five-year terms on the Beckley Housing Authority;
– It was announced that the Fall Leaf Pickup will take place on Nov. 15. Leaves and brush, up to two inches in diameter, must be bagged and placed on the curb for pickup;
– Rappold proclaimed National Christian Heritage Week in the city of Beckley during the week of Thanksgiving;
– Rappold announced that the Travel Guide Publisher Lonely Planet named West Virginia as the number two region in the world to visit. They featured the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine in their article;
– Rappold stated that all four Raleigh County High School football teams will be going to the state playoffs. Additionally the Woodrow Wilson and Shady Spring High School girls volleyball teams are heading to state playoffs.
The Beckley Common Council has canceled its second meeting in November due to the Thanksgiving holiday. They will meet again on Dec. 13.