• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

U-Haul seeks approval of plan to locate here

Representatives of U-Haul International are scheduled to come before the Board of Adjustment on Monday, June 4, seeking a determination that its proposed indoor self-storage facility should be allowed in a highway business (B-4) district. U-Haul wants to offer climate-controlled rental units in a building at 525 Marsailles Road formerly occupied by Kroger in the Lexington Road Plaza. While storage facilities are not identified as a principal or a conditional use in the B-4 zoning district, U-Haul argues in its May 16 letter to Planning Director Pattie Wilson that the usage of the old Kroger store for self-storage “is either an accessory use enhancing and expanding upon U-Haul’s principal uses (truck and trailer rentals) or is of the same general character as the permitted principal uses, and being interior to the building, beneficial to the re-use of this space and certainly not detrimental to the district and neighboring districts.” The county’s zoning ordinance identifies warehouses as a principal use in the light industrial (I-1) district. Retail businesses, including veterinarian clinics, kennels, garden centers, outdoor and indoor display and sales of farm implements and mobile homes, are identified as principal uses in the B-4 district. Before U-Haul held what the company described as a town hall meeting with neighbors on May 9 at Versailles Brewing Company, Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott said the proposed use remains inappropriate for that area as it’s currently zoned. “I certainly think there’s a better use, but I think it’s a bad precedent for land-use decisions,” he said. He said if the planned self-storage facility were in the I-1 district, where it’s a principal use, “I wouldn’t object.” The owners of two established self-storage businesses in Versailles, Joe Gay and Linda Moraja, have previously stated that the proposed use was out-of-character with the existing principal uses in the B-4 district. In its May letter, U-Haul International’s Chris Nester wrote that U-Haul was “a natural fit” for the Lexington Road Plaza because many similar or related businesses are located along Versailles-Lexington Road in the B-4 zone. He cited an Enterprise Rental, with its auto rentals, and Jack Kain Ford, with its outdoor vehicle exhibits and parking for customers, as similar uses. A public hearing on U-Haul’s request for an administrative review by the Board of Adjustment is scheduled to begin on Monday, June 4, at 6:30 p.m. in the second-floor courtroom of the Woodford County Courthouse. Another hearing is scheduled to hear a request from Kathy Burgess, who wants to amend her conditional-use permit for a dog kennel at 12641 Troy Pike. She wants to add a building to support existing business needs.

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