Riverside considers zoning change for new storage business

As Riverside City Council considers rezoning land off Harshman Road for a new storage unit facility, a councilwoman is questioning why the city would allow this business after rejecting a proposed one by U-Haul on Woodman Drive.

The city has been asked to rezone land at 2121 Harshman Road from business to light industrial, similar to what council rejected last month for a proposed U-Haul storage facility at the former Kmart location at 601 Woodman Drive.

Cobblestone Capital plans to build the storage units.

Councilwoman April Franklin said she felt picking the Cobblestone Capital project to go into that space while declining to allow U-Haul to go into another space in Riverside felt like “choosing businesses.”

“Where my concern comes in on this, is it makes it look now like you’re choosing businesses,” Franklin said. “You didn’t want one, so you voted against it, but now you may, may or may not, vote for this.”

Franklin said the parcel should remain zoned for businesses because she felt that property had the ability to grow.

Councilwoman Brenda Fry argued this property was different. She said the Harshman Road location is close to other industrial lots and it is lower density, versus the Woodman Drive location that was considered for U-Haul, which had more residential homes around it.

“It does not seem like that much more of a stretch,” she said.

Resident Freda Patterson spoke at Thursday’s council meeting in favor of the project but against the inconsistency of council.

“If it doesn’t work in one place, it doesn’t work in another,” she said. “I’m not against this company, we need the business.”

Council voted to allow a second hearing for the project, which will be at the council meeting on Dec. 17. Full videos for both the city council meeting and the planning commission meeting are on YouTube.

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