Tim Hale’s proposal to construct storage units on the Gunderson Property on the Menan-Lorenzo Highway will now go through the process of acquiring a conditional use permit, after the Menan City Council sent it to the Menan Planning and Zoning Commission.

During Thursday night’s planning and zoning meeting, the commission discussed whether or not storage units would be allowed in the village district.

According to Menan City Code, the purpose of the village district is to protect the rural atmosphere of Menan while recognizing the present pattern of mixed land uses. It states buffering with fences and landscaping is required to assure that new land uses do not create nuisances for neighbors.

“Commercial and industrial land uses will be encouraged to locate at locations adjacent to county and state highways and the railroad,” the code states.

Similarly, under section 8-8-1 of the city code, mini storages, storage buildings, and storage warehouses without processing or manufacturing facilities are allowed conditionally in the village district.

Other than informing Hale that he needs to get a conditional use permit, Commissioner Lane Mortimer said they need to look at fire suppression requirements.

In other discussion, the commission discussed Greg and Becky Nelson’s request to split their five parcels.

City Clerk Allyson Pettingill said they have proposed constructing houses on parcels one through three, and then give parcels four and five to Ben Briggs. She said to satisfy the open space requirement they have proposed designating 22-acres of farm ground as open space.

According to Menan City Code 8-2-7, open space is a common area platted as a separate lot, provided within a recorded usable easement, or dedicated to and accepted by the city, which is substantially open to the sky. Computation of open space minimum does not include public streets, wetland areas, drainage ditches, irrigation ditches, sewer or water facilities, or similar features.

Minimum open space is determined by the type of development. Single family or twin homes are required to have 10 percent of the subdivision designated as open space, five percent is required for condominiums or townhouses, seven percent for other multifamily dwellings, 20 percent for planned unit developments and three percent for commercial, business parks and industrial.

Because the Nelsons are only required to designate five percent of their property as open space, Mortimer suggested they speak with them and Briggs to let them know that they may not want to designate so much land.

He said if they decide to declare all 22-acres as open space, Briggs will not be able to develop on it in the future.

“We’re going to have to talk to Ben (Briggs) because it’s (open space) going to have to be recorded,” Pettingill said.

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