Otsego considering request for former Harding's as industrial storage

By: 
Daniel Pepper, Staff Writer

Otsego planning commissioners will consider a request from a developer to rezone the former Harding’s Market building at their next meeting.

City manager Aaron Mitchell addressed the item, which has generated a lot of interest and discussion on Facebook, at the Monday, Jan. 21, city commission meeting.

Mitchell said the city had the legal responsibility to respond to requests for rezoning.

“We don’t own the building and we don’t tell the owners how to market their building,” he said.

Indianapolis-based Storage of America has applied to Otsego to have the property rezoned from Central Business District to Commercial C-1 and plans to seek a special use permit for a climate-controlled industrial storage building.

The planning commission will meet Monday, Jan. 28, at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

A few members of the audience said they’d heard a number of rumors, including one that the facility wouldn’t have to disclose what was stored there.

Mitchell shot that one down, saying, “That sounds illegal to me.”

Mayor Cyndi Trobeck explained that an industrial storage facility would not be allowed under the current zoning and wouldn’t under the C-1 zoning, except under a special use permit.

“They’re asking us to make an exception to our ordinance,” Trobeck said.

Mitchell said his understanding of the idea was that the business would rent space to local industrial companies for storage.

The request, even if approved by the planning commission, would also have to be approved by the city commission at a further meeting.

Contact Dan Pepper at dpepper@allegannews.com or at (269) 673-5534.

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