A 130,149-square-foot, th-ree-story self-storage facility with contemporary architecture was approved 4-1 during an appeal hearing by the Chino Hills City Council on Tuesday.
The project is proposed for the southwest corner of Soquel Canyon Parkway and Fairfield Ranch Road, east of Hotel Chino Hills, in the retail center where Starbucks and Denny’s are located.
A 2,000-square-foot portion of the facility would include a guest lobby and office area for copying, packaging, and shipping. It will contain locker units for inventory storage, and a glass-enclosed conference room.
The remaining 128,149- square-feet will include between 850 and 950 rental storage units.
Councilman Brian Johsz, who lives in the district where the facility is located, and Councilman Peter Rogers asked for the appeal after the planning commission approved the project in December.
Mr. Rogers said he was skeptical because of concerns about a potentially bulky, four-walled warehouse but voted to support the project after looking over the architectural design that he said looks very different from traditional storage facilities.
Councilman Johsz cast the lone no vote, stating he could not support a mini-warehouse across the street from single-family homes.
“I put myself in the residents’ shoes who bought their homes 15 years ago and did not think a warehouse would be coming in across the street,” he said. “A three-story building is a little much for that location.”
The developer, Nancy Bane of Sorsirs, Inc., said the self-storage facility, to be named The Storage District, is designed to look like a modern office.
She said her company is investing $15 million into the project that will improve the visual character of the business park that has become a site for illegal dumping, overnight long-haul truck parking, potentially hazardous waste behind the hotel’s trash enclosure, and nine non-working parking lot lights.
Kathryn Oehlschlager, attorney for Sorsirs, said the project is the least-intensive commercial use for the site and will result in minimal impacts to traffic and parking. She said 44 new parking stalls will be installed.
She said soaring real estate costs have created a need for businesses to store inventory, equipment, displays and files at off-site locations.
The attorney said the project will also include open meeting space and a conference room for community use to provide a place for local businesses and groups to convene without leaving Chino Hills.