• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Board denies request for U-Haul self-storage facility

U-HAUL’S plans for the Lexington Road Plaza are on hold after losing a key vote during Monday’s meeting of the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Planning Commission. (File Photo)

The Board of Adjustment voted unanimously Monday to deny a request from U-Haul International to open an indoor self-storage facility in the Lexington Road Plaza’s former Kroger store. In his motion denying the request, board member Frank Stark stated that the proposed use was not “of the same general character as the permitted principal uses” in the highway business (B-4) district.

The motion pointed out that such an interpretation by the board would apply to all properties zoned B-4 and that no compelling evidence was submitted that the proposed use (an indoor self-storage facility) was overlooked by the zoning ordinance. Also, it stated that documentation was provided showing that several mini-warehouse self-storage facilities are located in the light industrial (I-1) district.

During a public hearing in June, an attorney representing U-Haul said self-storage units are not a warehouse and cited state law that he said supports his argument. He described U-Haul as a business with truck and trailer rentals and indoor self-storage spaces, while also being “a vital retail business.”

Those opposed to allowing a self-storage facility in the Lexington Road Plaza said such a determination by the Board of Adjustment (BOA) would set a bad precedent for the B-4 district.

Local business owner Pattie Carter said people living in Versailles need more retail options so they don’t have to drive to Lexington or Frankfort to shop. “I’m not against U-Haul or their storage units. I just think this is the wrong place,” she said.

Permits approved

The BOA approved two conditional-use permits.

One approved permit allows Stephen Bishop and Angela Hunter to operate a family child care business at 415 Crown Court, single-family residential district. Conditions of the approval included a 10-child limit with up to only three infants and a requirement to lock the gate of a fence around an above-ground swimming pool to ensure the safety of the children.

A neighbor of the applicant raised concerns related to increased traffic, limited street parking and allowing a business to operate in a residential neighborhood before the permit was approved 4 to 1, with Al Schooler voting no.

The BOA approved a permit that allows Rocking M, LLL (Merefield Farm) to operate agri-tourism enterprise with farm tours and events at 301 Lansing Lane. The request was reviewed by the Agricultural Advisory Review Committee in June and unanimously recommended for approval.

The BOA likewise unanimously approved the conditional-use permit allowing the agri-tourism enterprise to operate from April 1 and October 31. Events are limited to 200 guests with a maximum of 40 a year.

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