Is self-storage a waste of space? Some city leaders think so.

Some people aren’t “particularly excited” to see boxes filled with boxes in their neighborhoods.

Greenbox Self Storage, 2424 Delgany Street. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Greenbox Self Storage, 2424 Delgany Street. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) storage units; development; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;
Greenbox Self Storage, 2424 Delgany Street. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Some of Denver’s most valuable real estate is dedicated to storing people’s stuff. A proposal headed for the Denver City Council could change that.

The wave:

In all, plans for 30 storage projects were submitted between 2014 and 2017.

The tower of a Greenbox facility greets drivers approaching downtown from the north. A 1.5 mile stretch along Brighton Boulevard has no less than five competitors, all surrounded by apartment buildings and construction cranes. Down south, a Public Storage facility stands directly next to the Colorado rail station.

They’re trying to capitalize on the fact that people are living in smaller spaces and denser areas — but they’re running up against critics. Some people aren’t “particularly excited” to see boxes filled with boxes in their neighborhoods, as one developer told us last year.

The response:

The city could ban the construction of “mini-storage” in downtown Denver, according to a new proposal. The change also would limit the construction of storage facilities and drive-through restaurants within a quarter-mile of rail stations. They would be banned near many stations and allowed with restrictions in certain zones.

(Here’s a zoning map. Mini-storage is already banned in most main-street districts.)

“These are going to be about the areas of our city that are the most vibrant, the most pedestrian-friendly, the most active,” said senior city planner Sara White.

The idea didn’t run into much resistance at a council committee meeting on Tuesday. Councilwoman Mary Beth Susman even asked whether the ban could be applied to the city’s larger roads. Councilwoman Kendra Black has been calling for restrictions for a while now.

The package of changes also includes new limits on the design of houses in some zones. The restrictions are a response to complaints that new residences “are just too big when they’re getting built in our residential areas,” according to White.

See page 14 of this document for more on that last idea.

The full package of changes could head to Denver City Council for a public hearing in May and take effect in November.

Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email akenney@denverite.com.