Working with Planning and Zoning Boards for Self-Storage Project Approval: Make Good Connections

Now that you have your team put in place, it is time to begin publicizing what you plan on doing with the property.  Find out how often you must publicize your request before you can submit it for the board’s approval.  During this period, the public can submit objections.  These objections are a matter of public record, so you will have access to them.  As these objections come in you must pro-actively tackle them to continue on with your self storage plans.

There are a few beneficial ways to do this.

*one on one meetings with the objectors to answer their questions

* in a town hall meeting format or over the phone.

* tweak your plans to address genuine issues

You can even get ahead of the objections by having a meeting with neighbors to explain what you plan on doing. Show them why you’ll be a great neighbor.  This will reduce the number of objections that are submitted.  Doing this on site has always proved to be beneficial. This enables your attendees to see exactly what you are planning to do. Allowing them to associate you with the space you are planning to develop will go a long way.

Once all the objections have been satisfied, then it is time to proceed to the board meeting itself.  Your engineer will be a huge asset.  He will speak on your behalf.  Having an expert who is willing to speak on your behalf says more than you could possibly say yourself.  You can choose to let them handle the entire presentation and you simply answer questions, or you can split the presentation.  However, keep in mind that having someone that the board already trusts present sensitive and potentially argumentative information can be beneficial to getting your project approved.

Having the endorsement of someone that the zoning board likes and trusts can go a long way towards getting your project approved.  Make sure that you get a great team in place when you  take a project in front of the planning and zoning board.  This will help prevent your project from getting inexplicably denied.

By making good connections with your team, the board, and the community that you plan on developing in, you are setting your storage investment up for success.

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