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Santa Maria City Council discussing U-Haul storage facility appeal

Posted at 5:36 PM, Sep 01, 2020

UPDATE (7:30 p.m.) — The Santa Maria City Council voted 4-0 on the issue and denied the appeal. U-Haul's plans to expand will move forward.

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ORIGINAL STORY (5:30 p.m.) — A Santa Maria U-Haul site is proposing plans to expand but some neighboring residents do not agree with the idea.

Steven Wagner who has been living in the area for 20 years says he doesn't agree with the expansion U-Haul is proposing.

"We are not against private enterprise or the idea of U-Haul being operating in our city but I think that they should be good neighbors and what they're doing there should be an upgrade to our community not degrading our community,” Wagner said.

U-Haul wants to expand its existing building and add mini storage units on the 13-acre site that used to be home to K-Mart along the 2800 block of Santa Maria Way.

After the city's planning commission approved the project back in June, Wagner filed an appeal in July. That appeal cites many concerns, including U-Haul facilities being unkempt, creating unwanted noise in the area, and degrading property value of homes surrounding the site.

"We look at issues such as noise or traffic and we made a recommendation the mini storage use has no more negative impacts on the surrounding areas than a typical shopping center would,” said Chuen Ng, Director of Community Development for the City of Santa Maria.

Since the appeal was made against the expansion, it's now up to the city council to weigh in and decide whether the U-Haul site is compatible with the area.

Many residents have sent letters to the city in support of the project, some saying extra storage is always needed.

"The city is allowing U-Haul to go down that same road with minimal improvements and I think that they should step back right now and make sure that that's going to be a building and a business that we can be proud to have in our community," Wagner said.