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9/6/2013 6:00:00 AM
Special situation creates zoning issue for Kingman council
The Kingman City Council is allowing a storage business on Hualapai Mountain Road to expand, but the zoning issues involved are unique to the property. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)
The Kingman City Council is allowing a storage business on Hualapai Mountain Road to expand, but the zoning issues involved are unique to the property. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter


KINGMAN - The City Council on Tuesday agreed to add mini storage facilities to the list of businesses that can operate within the Hualapai Mountain Road overlay district - provided the owner obtains a conditional use permit.

The unique history of the business, which was there before the area was annexed into city boundaries - and the overlay district was established that banned them - should be enough to prevent a rush to build similar businesses on the road.

Mayor Janet Watson and Council members held two public hearings on the subject, one that affirmed a denial of Robert Bennett's request to add 200 units to Hualapai Mountain Storage at 3442 Hualapai Mountain Road.

In July, the Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously denied Bennett's request for a zoning change, from C-2HMR, which is the overlay district that specifically prohibits mini storage facilities within its boundaries, to C-2, which is less restrictive zoning that allows commercial and community businesses.

According to Development Services Director Gary Jeppson, planning commissioners "believe it is more appropriate to maintain the continuity of the current ... zoning."

The City Council agreed, also voting unanimously to deny. The concern was that without a conditional use permit, Bennett was free to do almost anything he wished with his five-acre property.

That led to the second public hearing in which the City Council was asked to amend language in the C-2HMR ordinance that would allow mini storage facilities in the overlay district provided a conditional use permit was obtained.

Planning commissioners were asked to approve the amendment on Aug. 13 but the vote ended in a 3-3 tie. (The Planning and Zoning Commission has a single vacancy, eliminating a tie-breaking vote.)

Jeppson and City Council members who have visited the site agreed Bennett and his wife, Judith, do a good job maintaining the property and that, from an architectural standpoint, it is aligned with overlay district guidelines.

Bennett said he plans to build 200 additional units, essentially doubling the present number.

Following the meeting, Jeppson indicated precedent was not set on Tuesday, and in any event, the City Council does not have to approve future requests for conditional use permits from other mini storage businesses.

No other applicant can claim the same circumstances as Bennett, whose Hualapai Mountain Storage existed prior to the 2004 creation of the overlay district. The business was allowed to remain under a grandfather clause.

Jeppson said neighbors who were notified of Bennett's plan have not registered any complaints. One actually sent in a letter supporting the plan.

ICT - Trotters RV
Related Stories:
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• Kingman commission: Zoning shouldn't block business owner's plans
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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2013
Article comment by: If You Support Changing Law to Allow This 1 - Expect the Unexpected

Those in favor of changing the overlay district for HMR to allow this applicant to nearly triple the units and activity might want to reconsider. There would be no guarantee as to the hours of operation - presently it's available 24 hrs - 365 days.

And by changing the entire ordinance to allow this one situation will indeed open up the entire street for similar projects. If the city decides to change the law to allow this please require much more landscaping of these storage buildings so as to be blocked from sight from HMR.


Posted: Saturday, September 7, 2013
Article comment by: Thai Mai Shu

Francis Perkins is correct in how the mini storage units came about but to penalize the current owner for what the county did to the city wouldn't be the proper thing to do.

Assuming the addition is as the current facility it is of little impact on the area, is always well maintained and not an eye sore like some of the properties along Hualapai Mountain Rd.

Those old trashy trailer houses with the junk cars and trucks, the old abandoned house and radio station along with a choice few other properties could take a lesson on cleaning up their act from this facility.

I have serious doubts there will be a rush to construct more units located somewhere else along the corridor and if there is, the council can turn them down.


Posted: Friday, September 6, 2013
Article comment by: No to Changing Ordinance

Very interesting history as told by Francis. Too bad this information wasn't given to the Council and public at the meeting. I do remember something about the city objecting but it didn't have any effect since it was county. Guess Carol Anderson didn't do a very good job of convincing the other two - or was she in favor of it.

More citizens of this area need to either show up at the Planning and Zoning meeting or write a letter or phone the city planning dept to object to this "text amendment".


Posted: Friday, September 6, 2013
Article comment by: Allan Gleason

As a neighbor to this business, I can attest that it just sits there quietly with very little activity and is reasonably attractive although not at all as beautiful as the fiduciary business across the street at Seneca which is a great neighbor on a corner where no one would want to live. Both businesses are most certainly better than active businesses such as fast food vendors, etc. I hope such businesses are never permitted to open near here even as the city grows.


Posted: Friday, September 6, 2013
Article comment by: Frances Perkins

The zoning decision is based on a faulty premise. This commercial business was allowed by the County Board, right on the Kingman City Limit line, in a location far from any other commercial property, despite the fact the City opposed it. At the time it appeared the County Board (Buster Johnson, Lake Havasu and Jim Z., Bullhead City) approved it to spite the Kingman supervisor (Carol Anderson), and not because it was a good land use at that location. This location is still far from any commercial uses, and was injected into an all residential area. There are 100 places for mini storage, (or tire stores for that matter) and a few where they should not be located. This is not about being for or against business. Everyone is FOR business, just locate them in the hundreds of places where they are already allowed.

Posted: Friday, September 6, 2013
Article comment by: Protect Our Drive to the Mountain

My fear is once they are allowed under a CUP there will be others who will claim all kinds of "hardships" that will convince the council to allow them. As long as this "unique" situation is held as unique and others aren't allowed I think it is okay.

What happens should those storage units sell?

I'd prefer less smaller number with more landscaping to buffer the view from those of us enjoying the drive up to the mountain.




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