Council moves forward with proposal to curb self-storage development

Plan would limit new projects in roughly half of the city’s manufacturing areas

Ritchie Torres and self storage units
Ritchie Torres and self storage units

A City Council committee on Thursday paved the way a proposal to limit new self-storage development in large swaths of the city’s industrial neighborhoods.

The full Council is expected to approve the measure on Monday, which would require developers to secure a special permit in order to build new facilities in most of the city’s 21 industrial business zones, Crain’s reported. Those zones make up roughly half of the manufacturing space in the five boroughs.

The idea behind the proposal is to save manufacturing jobs by preventing them from being displaced by other uses like self-storage that will pay higher prices, but not everyone is convinced.

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Bronx Council member Ritchie Torres said he supports the proposal, but noted that the Council did not study whether limiting new self-storage development will actually help preserve manufacturing jobs.

“The text amendment before us should be seen for what it is: raw legislative power disconnected from fact-finding,” said Torres, who was the lone lawmaker to vote against the proposal.

The special-permit requirement would not apply in two IBZs in the Bronx and another one on Staten Island, along with part of a zone in Jamaica, Queens. Self-storage developers would have to set aside space for industrial uses in new projects. Existing facilities would be grandfathered in. [Crain’s]Rich Bockmann