Vienna Council OKs wall waiver, landscape plan for storage facility

Self-Storage Facility The Vienna Town Council on July 6, 2020, approved a rear-wall waiver, loading-space modification and landscaping plan for a proposed CubeSmart storage facility on Mill Street, N.E.

Vienna Town Council members by a single-vote margin July 6 approved a rear-wall waiver, loading-space modification and landscaping plan for a proposed CubeSmart self-storage facility at 223-241 Mill St., N.E.

The site currently is home to the Bassford Warehouse, a one-story commercial/light-industrial building constructed in 1964. The new four-story CubeSmart building would have 131,084 square feet of space to accommodate 1,150 storage units and a 1,168-square-foot office area.

The structure will be 45 feet tall, but its parapet wall and towers will rise 5 feet higher, which is allowed by town code, said Deputy Planning and Zoning Director Michael D’Orazio.

The applicant will consolidate two properties, one 395 feet wide and the other just 10 feet wide, and provide 17 parking spaces and two loading spaces. Only one employee is slated to work at the building during its peak period.

Vienna does not have a parking standard for self-storage buildings, but the applicant’s plan would comply with Fairfax County’s regulations, said Planning and Zoning Director Cindy Petkac.

But Council member Charles Anderson said the site’s parking had not been addressed adequately and should have been based on the expected number of trips generated.

“This is clearly not an industrial building,” he said. “It needed to have a variance.”

The Council waived the required 6-foot-tall rear wall at the request of residents living just to the east of the site along Park Street, N.E. Neighbors worried a wall would cut into the roots of existing mature vegetation along the site’s rear and possibly harm those plants.

Council members disagreed over the application and approved it on 4-3 vote. Mayor Linda Colbert and Council members Steve Potter, Nisha Patel and Ed Somers voted in favor, while Council members Anderson, Howard Springsteen and Ray Brill Jr. voted nay.

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