Wildomar property owners who want to open storage facilities on their land will once again be able to apply to the city to do so.
A moratorium in Wildomar that temporarily halted development of storage facilities in the city expires Friday.
During a discussion by City Council Wednesday night, council members elected to allow the moratorium to expire effective Jan. 13, but with some caveats.
The city will default to the existing county ordinance for boat, vehicle and RV storage facilities, which allows for such operations on property zoned Commercial General, Scenic Highway Commercial and Rural Residential. A conditional use permit application is required for Rural Residential and Scenic Highway Commercial zoning; a plot plan application is required for Commercial General zoning.
As for mini- and self-storage facilities, council members directed staff to draft an amendment to the existing county ordinance to prohibit such facilities in the desirable Commercial General zoning. Such facilities are already prohibited in Rural Residential and Scenic Highway Commercial designations, according to city documents.
The amendment came at the urging of Councilmember Bob Cashman, who argued the city needs to draft its own ordinance “once and for all” to deal with storage facilities. He expressed concern that by allowing mini-storage and self-storage facilities to build on prime commercial retail sites along key city arteries like Clinton Keith Road, potentially desirable future development could be negatively impacted in the long term.
“I’m worried about permanent concrete structures,” Cashman said, pointing out that storage facilities are not aesthetically pleasing and bring little revenue to the city.
Councilmember Marsha Swanson argued that drafting a city ordinance now would cost Wildomar money at a time when storage businesses are “not beating down our doors.”
However, staff confirmed that recent inquiries have been made into the city, and the moratorium was put in place in Dec. 2010 because “staff had received numerous inquiries regarding development applications,” according to city documents.