EAGLE ROCK — After sitting empty for more than 3-1/2 years, there’s now a plan to replace the former Ernie Jr’s Taco House. But if you were looking forward to a new place to dine on burritos and classic Mexican-American fare, you will be disappointed. A developer wants to build a 4-story, nearly 85,000-square-foot self-storage facility on the property next to the 2 Freeway.
The William Warren Group, a developer of self-storage facilities, has proposed a Storquest facility with walls of glass overlooking W. Broadway and El Verano Avenue instead of the blank walls associated with most self storage places.
But before they can build, the Planning Department must approve numerous requests made by the developer. Those requests including building a project that would be taller and higher than would normally be allowed, providing 14 instead of 38 parking spaces and an exemption from the design and other guidelines that govern development along Colorado Boulevard (the plan covers some properties, including this one, not on fronting Colorado).
In justifying its request, the developer notes that city and state efforts to legalize the conversion of garages and accessory buildings into legal residences or “granny flats” is creating more demand for commercial storage facilities. “Therefore, self storage facilities located in close vicinity to densely populated communities/neighborhoods serve a much needed service for residents themselves.”
However, the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council‘s land use committee has recommended against supporting the development as currently proposed. Instead, the committee would prefer a project that follows development guidelines for the Colorado Boulevard.
The planning committee’s recommendations will be reviewed by the full neighborhood council at its meeting tonight, Tuesday, Jan. 9.
The Eagle Rock Association, a neighborhood group that pays close attention to land use, has not taken a position on the project but expects to meet with representative of the developer later this week, said Greg Merideth, association president. However, when TERA surveyed residents who lived near the site about the project in 2015, most voiced support for the self-storage facility, he said.
“At that time, the vast majority of them favored the storage facility (rather than another restaurant or residential use) because it would likely generate less noise, traffic, and parking issues.
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