In Miramar, Fla., New Storage Facility Planned

A new three-story self-storage building will likely become part of the western Miramar landscape now that city commissioners have given it their unanimous approval.

The StorageMart chain plans to build a 107,150-square-foot facility, along with 24 parking spaces, on 2.3 acres on the southwest corner of Miramar Parkway and Dykes Road. The design will be Mediterranean in style, with tile roofs, arches, gables and a porte-cochere, along with a mix of elements and colors.

Residents of the Nautica subdivision initially had objected to the StorageMart. In April, people complained about the building's height -- four stories -- and said it would not be an attractive neighbor for the well-groomed community.

But Miramar city commissioners asked residents to try to work out an agreement with the developer.

In response, the developer agreed to build a three-story StorageMart instead of four, add more landscaping, restrict the hours of operation (it was originally planned to be available to renters 24 hours a day), and install security cameras on the property.

Property managers also must make sure the people who rent the units are not operating businesses out of them.

The developer also agreed to pay about $72,000 to the homeowner association -- and offer discounts to Nautica residents who want to rent storage space.

City commissioners said parts of the agreement, particularly the discounts for Nautica residents, were questionable.

City Commissioner Marjorie Conlan agreed, saying "a principle is a principle."

It's one thing, she said, if homeowners object because the business is inappropriate for the neighborhood. But for residents to receive discounts in return for their support is improper, she said.

Dennis Mele, the attorney for the developer, said he thought the agreement was "distasteful." But his client was prepared to do whatever necessary to appease residents, he said.

More than 50 StorageMarts are operated by the Burnam family, whose company is based in Columbia, Mo.

Other StorageMarts in South Florida are in Dania Beach, Pompano Beach, Miami-Dade County and Key West.

(c) 2005 Associated Press