Englewood rejects rezoning that would have allowed for U-Haul in former Kmart

Credit: Tim Boyle

Credit: Tim Boyle

U-Haul’s plans to retrofit a former Kmart on West National Road in Englewood to house upwards of 400 indoor and outdoor self-storage units have been denied.

Englewood City Council voted 4-2 to deny a zoning request that would have allowed for the 9.6-area property that has sat empty for years to be used by U-Haul.

The company wanted to add the units that would have allowed 24-hour access, 20 to 30 trucks and trailers, and a retail space for selling moving and packing materials.

Councilman Michael Kline said city residents in the past have complained about U-Haul trucks parked in lots around the city.

“Put this right downtown and I think it’s a horrible mistake,” he said.

The planning commission requested that U-Haul remove outside storage, reduce the number of trucks to no more than six trucks lining the greenspace on West National Road, define travel lanes, input a privacy fence between building and residential properties, move shunting area, no lighting beyond property limits that could disturb residents, complete access assessments, and several others.

U-Haul only agreed to change the shunting lanes, reduce the number of trucks, and add more landscaping.

“We voted against it because we know that U-Haul doesn’t agree with many of the crucial points that are in section two,” said planning commission president Thomas Sorna.

Mark Quinn, U-Haul of Dayton marketing president, said that the value and price of the empty Kmart building is going to continue to decrease if the city waits for a different buyer.

“I know that’s not your concern but it should be a concern to your citizens because also with the property value going down on that property it drives the property value down on other properties around in the resident’s properties,” he said.

Country Square owner Barry Weaver said he was concerned about traffic and visibility of other businesses that wouldn’t be seen from the street if U-Haul box trucks were parked in the parking lot. Country Square sits near the ex-Kmart.

“We will just be obliterated. You may get a Kmart building repurposed and taking the place of another vacant building,” Weaver said.

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