Oakville residents opposing proposed storage facility; public hearing slated Monday

The+proposed+site+of+the+new+storage+facility+on+Lemay+Ferry+Road%2C+Moore%27s+Used+Autos%2C+is+pictured+above.+Photo+by+Gloria+Lloyd.

The proposed site of the new storage facility on Lemay Ferry Road, Moore’s Used Autos, is pictured above. Photo by Gloria Lloyd.

By Gloria Lloyd
Staff Reporter
news3@callnewspapers.com

Some Oakville residents are fighting back against a self-storage facility proposed for a used-car lot at the corner of Lemay Ferry Road and Old Lemay Ferry Road.
Lemay Storage LLC is seeking to build a self-storage facility with multiple buildings at 5419 Lemay Ferry Road, the current location of Moore’s Used Autos and Midwest Autohaus. The site plan calls for five buildings, including three large gated storage facilities measuring 36,000 square feet, 32,000 square feet, and 20,000 square feet.
The plan also calls for two office buildings, one two-story and 3,200 square feet and one 1,200 square feet.
The county Planning Commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the proposal at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16, in the County Council Chambers at the Administration Building, 41 S. Central Ave.
Lemay Storage, which was formed Aug. 9, is seeking amended C-8 commercial zoning for the site. On the Lemay Ferry side of the property where the car lot is located, the 4.4-acre site is directly across from the Mehlville Fire Protection District’s Fire Station No. 7, a shopping center and a tavern.
But on the back of the heavily wooded site facing Old Lemay Ferry Road, the property is across from a subdivision of attached condominiums, the Bristol Ridge Subdivision.
That is where resident Ron Garascia lives. He is spearheading opposition to the storage facility.
He moved to the area a decade ago and never thought that anyone would develop the wooded area across from the subdivision since it has steep gulleys.
With up to six other storage facilities within a mile radius, Garascia believes the market around Lemay Ferry is oversaturated with storage units.
Currently, residents of Bristol Ridge see only woods on several acres of the site stretching back to Hawkins Fuchs Road.
But the storage facility would replace some of the wooded area not currently covered by the car lot, with a detention pond at the low point.
Former real-estate banker Garascia believes property values will decline due to the development, just as they’re recovering from the Great Recession.
“Who wants to come out of your subdivision and all of a sudden smack dab in front of you have storage units?” he said.
Several of his subdivision neighbors’ houses face Old Lemay Ferry Road, and their backyards and decks would face the facility, he added.
“Instead of looking at the woods there, they’re going to be sitting there looking at these storage units, and at night it’s going to be all lit up,” he said. “They have to change the zoning for this to go in, and we’re all residential.”
The Lemay Storage developers spoke months ago with 6th District Councilman Ernie Trakas, R-Oakville, who said he had gone so long without learning that the project was going to a public hearing that he assumed it had been dropped.
Trakas has not yet spoken with residents in the area with thoughts either way on the storage facility, but he believes it may look better than the used-car lot that is currently on the property.
“What I was presented with was a storage facility, yes, but one that was pretty well-landscaped and keeping with an attractive design,” Trakas said. “So without giving a green light one way or the other, I said this seems fine.”
But Trakas said he also told them, “I’m going to listen to the residents as my job.”