Entering Buckley from the west provides a highway panorama that may not be too attractive and is noticeably short on retail opportunities.
Now, in a better-late-than-never move, members of the City Council have decided to prohibit two types of businesses from the city’s most visible swatch of real estate.
Taking action during their Nov. 13 session, the council specifically targeted mini-storage facilities and what are commonly known as “contractor yards.” Both commercial uses were deemed off-limits to the area generally bordered by Mundy Loss Road on the west, Hinkleman Road on the north, 112th on the south and the Mr. Bill’s/mini-mart complex on the east.
Several years ago, when Buckley’s relatively inexpensive land started enticing developers, the city took something of a hands-off approach, according to City Administrator Dave Schmidt. He said the council’s thinking was, “we want market forces to play out.”
That led to a mini-storage facility on the south side of state Route 410 and a large contractor’s storage yard spread along the north side of the highway. And now, with three more mini-storage facilities already in the city pipeline the council decreed “enough is enough,” Schmidt said.
The prohibition put into place during the Nov. 13 meeting has no impact on the three requests already filed with the city. One is for more mini-storage on the north side of the highway, adjacent to an existing storage facility and right where the “Welcome to Buckley” monument sign sits. The eight-acre site is one of the largest undeveloped parcels in the city, Schmidt said.
A second mini-storage request already filed calls for development of vacant highway frontage sitting between the school district’s bus garage and the still-new CarbCom site. The third request involves land envisioned for recreational vehicle and boat storage.
The ordinance passed by the City Council notes that Buckley “is undergoing growth that if left unchecked could prevent desirable uses from occurring in the General Commercial Zone.” Additionally, the ordinance spells out how the city would rather see highway property used for retail purposes, which contribute more to Buckley’s annual revenue stream.
Under terms of last week’s ordinance, existing storage sites and contractor yards will be able to continue normal operations but will be prohibited from expanding.