4 storage containers OK’d for 2090 W. Superstition Blvd.

The property at 2090 W. Superstition Blvd. (Photo by Richard H. Dyer, Independent Newsmedia)

Two Chandler residents can store personal belongings in storage containers but not leave trailers or toy haulers at 2090 W. Superstition Blvd., the planning commission decided in a split vote April 10.

Dean and Bonnie Varga, represented by Michelle Dahlke of Arizona Planning and Paralegal Solutions, sought a conditional use permit to store four cargo containers and three trailers at the .57-acre general-commercial-zoned property.

The Apache Junction Planning and Zoning Commission voted 4-3 to approve a one-year CUP with the addition of landscaping and a chain-link fence with slats. Within 180 days, the applicants must provide a proposed business plan or strategy for the use of the property. Voting yes were Chairwoman Theresa Nesser, Vice Chairman Peter Heck and members Willie Howard and Michael McGraw. Voting no were commissioners Steve Kridler, Robert Schroeder and Michael Frank.

The commission discussed providing a six-month CUP.

“I just wasn’t fully comfortable with the stipulations as they were read,” Commissioner Kridler said after the meeting of his vote.

“I would have preferred what was discussed initially, the six months and then provide a plan at that point – the re-review at that point. Otherwise I didn’t see the point of approving it at all because I felt that it sets bad precedence by approving something that is already been in place, clearly violating what city policy reads,” he said.

Some commission members were concerned that people who live outside the city were storing their belongings in Apache Junction.

“More and more situations over the last couple years I’m seeing AJ being used as a dumping ground,” Chairwoman Nesser said.

“They can’t store this stuff where they live so they’re coming out to Apache Junction and they want to store RVs, they want to store all their stuff that they can’t do where they live and I don’t think we, as a city, want to be the dumping ground for everyone else,” she said.

“I agree. There is the feeling that we are a dumping ground for everybody else around this town. But I also would like to see businesses come into this town,” Commissioner McGraw said.

An aerial view of the property at 2090 W. Superstition Blvd. (Submitted photo)

The initial request was to place eight temporary cargo storage containers for personal use at 2090 W. Superstition Blvd. The property is designated medium-density residential and zoned general commercial.

“The owners of the subject property have submitted a request for a conditional use permit to allow for the storage of up to eight Conex containers. These containers would store the personal property of the owners. There will be no commercial storage on the subject property,” Ms. Dahlke wrote in a Feb. 23 citizen notification letter in the commission documents.

“The owners feel confident that the storage of containers on the subject property is a good interim land use that will have minimal impacts on adjacent properties or the immediate area,” Ms. Dahlke said.

The property is primarily vacant with four existing Conex cargo storage containers – one 8-foot-by-40-foot container and three 8-foot-by-20-foot containers, Danielle Jordan, planning intern, said in a memo to the commission.

There is a chain-link fence on the west and south side property line and a block wall on the north and east side property lines, she said.

“The cargo containers would be a temporary use until a more permanent use of the property can be financially feasible for the property owners,” Ms. Jordan said.

Planning staff recommended approval of the request for a conditional use permit to allow temporary cargo storage containers for personal use, but not to add additional containers, she said.

“However, staff is not in favor of bringing in more containers than have already been placed without appropriate approvals, nor with the applicants’ requested time frame. Staff believes allowing the owners’ temporary use of the containers until a more permanent use can be established can be permitted,” she said.

“However, if no permanent use is established within the suggested timeline, staff would like to see the cargo containers removed or see the CUP resubmitted. Additionally, approving this CUP would allow for the property to be further cleaned up and bring it up to landscape code and other on-site improvements, like the refurbishing of the landscaping and screening of the chain link fence,” Ms. Jordan said in the memo.

Editor Richard Dyer can be reached at rdyer@newszap.com

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