BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT) — A public hearing is planned for Tuesday at Birmingham city council meeting that will discuss the possibility of a moratorium on self-storage facilities.
The moratorium would be for one year and would restrict self-storage facilities from developing downtown or any part of the city limits, according to Birmingham city councilor Darrell O’Quinn.
O’Quinn said the big reason for the ban on self-storage facilities is because they take up a lot of space and don’t contribute to job growth. He said his research shows there’s normally only one full-time employee at a self-storage business.
This push is to ensure vacant spots in downtown go towards entertainment, residential, and businesses that will help the local economy and area flourish.
“That density helps to create vibrancy. Even on a single block if you got residential and entertainment uses, having a void in middle of the block can inhibit development so self-storage does not create density. It is essentially like creating a blight,”said O’Quinn.
Local business owner Victor King is the co-owner of The Essential on Morris Avenue in downtown Birmingham. He said downtown has been great for his business and wants to see more things come to the area like retail shops and festivals, no self-storage facilities.
“It’s actions like that that I love to hear. I think anything to motivate more restaurants, more retail, more reasons to come downtown and stay downtown, not just for one meal but maybe to stay down a whole day and really make a day of it. That’s what really promotes a downtown culture so anything we can do promote that is awesome,” said King.