Here are the regulations Cherokee County is putting on new storage facilities

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In response to the staggering number of applications for new storage facilities within Cherokee County, county leaders adopted some new rules for any new facilities built in the county.

The Board of Commissioners implemented a moratorium in September to give staff an opportunity to review county zoning ordinances related to the facilities, later extending the moratorium to Jan. 16. A public hearing on the proposed changes was held on Dec. 6.

At its Jan. 10 meeting, the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners approved several amendments related to indoor, climate-controlled storage units and outdoor storage facilities.

The conversation began with updates regarding outdoor storage facilities, but was expanded to include indoor, climate-controlled and non-climate-controlled facilities to capture the entire scope.

County staffers said changes were needed due to demand of storage facilities requests.

“We need to be able to control where they go and how many there are across the county,” said District 3 Commissioner Benny Carter.

Here are the new regulations on storage facilities:

  • A minimum parcel size of 3 acres for climate-controlled storage facilities
  • A minimum parcel size of 5 acres for non-climate-controlled storage units and outdoor storage facilities.
  • All non-climate-controlled storage and outdoor storage facilities shall have a minimum setback of 50 feet from any local street right of way, 65 feet from any collector street right of way and 75 feet from any arterial street right of way, and a setback of 25 feet from any side or rear property line.
  • All non-climate-controlled and outdoor storage facilities shall be fully enclosed by a 6-foot-tall opaque privacy fence or decorative wall. The finished side of the fence or decorative wall shall face the exterior property line when located internally to a designated industrial park and zoned Light Industrial, a 6-foot-tall chain-link fence may be used as an alternative fence material when located to other property zoned Light Industrial. Setbacks for fencing or decorative walls shall meet the same minimum setbacks for non-climate-controlled and outdoor storage facilities.
  • Between the fence or decorative wall and the roads, screening of a minimum of 10 feet must be provided for non-climate-controlled and outdoor storage facilities. Screening includes a combination of existing vegetation, a double staggered row of evergreen plantings and/or a landscaped earthen berm with a maximum of a 3:1 slope.
  • Additionally for non-climate-controlled facilities, a year-round visual landscape screen must be provided between the fence or decorative wall and the side and rear property lines, as determined by the Cherokee County arborist. The arborist may determine that supplemental plantings may be required where the topography, plantings or berm do not adequately screen the storage facility.
  • When an applicant is proposing a non-enclosed outdoor storage area, the location is limited to the side or rear of the principal building.

Changes also include that a special use permit is required for all storage facilities in both the General Commercial and Light Industrial zoning categories.

Senior Planner Dana Spayde told commissioners conditions could be added to individual special use permits as they come in for review and approval, on a case-by-case basis.

District 4 Commissioner Corey Ragsdale mentioned requirements may need to change for different areas of the county, citing the population, density and land availability in his district versus District 1 in the northern end of the county.

The changes were approved unanimously.