Mini storage seeks lower Clovis developer fees

Derrel's Mini StorageDerrel's Mini StorageDerrel’s Mini Storage has made a request to the Clovis City Council to change the city’s municipal code to allow a reduction in development fees for mini storage facilities.

The council approved a request by Derrel’s in March 2002 for an ordinance amendment that would allow mini-storage facilities to operate throughout the community. Prior to the council’s approval, mini-storage facilities were allowed only in light industrial zones. Included in the 2002 approval, however, was the requirement that mini-storage facilities pay fees based on the grounds that they were displacing revenue-generating residential developments. 

Representatives of Derrel’s met with the council recently and presented information showing that some of the fees, such as those for water and sewer, may be excessive.

“We went to the Clovis City Council Monday night,” said Paul Ridenour, senior vice president for construction and development at Derrel’s Mini Storage. “They directed staff to do a study of the impact fees.”

The city council has three options available in this matter:  Initiate an ordinance amendment to return the permissible zones for mini storage back to the light industrial zones; Initiate an ordinance amendment to consider removing language to pay fees based upon the underlying land use designation; or they can leave the ordinance and conditions unchanged.

If the city council opts to initiate an ordinance amendment, they would then recommend that the cost of the amendment process and environmental review be passed on to Derrel’s. 

Ridenour said that it will take approximately 90 days to do the impact fee study, and he added that the fees in Clovis were "outrageously" high.

“Let’s just put it this way — it’s triple to quadruple the fees,” Ridenour said. “Compared to Fresno, Bakersfield and Visalia, it’s three to four times higher. Instead of $250,000 in impact fees, it’s $1,000,000.”

Josh McDonnell, assistant director and city planner for the City of Visalia, said that mini storage facilities were not allowed in residential areas in his city. They must be located in an area that is zoned for light or heavy commercial use.

Attempts to contact Dwight Kroll, director of planning and development services for the city of Clovis, were unsuccessful.

“Mini storage is being driven out of the city of Clovis,” Ridenour said. “Everybody is.”