A City Council committee provided a key approval for legislation to restrict the development of self-storage facilities in industrial business zones Thursday, despite biting criticism of the bill by one of its members.
The measure, which is likely to be approved by the full council Dec. 19, would require a special permit to build self-storage projects in most of the 21 IBZs, which account for around half of the city's manufacturing space. Obtaining this permission would require going through a nearly yearlong public review process that culminates in a council vote.
The new requirement would not apply in two zones in the Bronx and another pair in Staten Island, along with part of a zone in Jamaica, Queens. But self-storage companies would still need to set aside space for industrial square-footage in any project they build, according to the bill. Existing facilities would be grandfathered. (In the IBZs that opted out, self-storage facilities up to 50,000 square feet will be allowed as-of-right. Only buildings above that size will be required to set aside 25% of the space for industrial use.)
The council and Mayor Bill de Blasio have long wanted to restrict the proliferation of certain uses—such as hotels, offices or strip clubs—in areas that are supposed to be home to manufacturing and industrial jobs. Nonindustrial uses, the argument goes, can pay more for rent or land and thus tend to squeeze out manufacturing companies that provide higher-paying jobs.