By JOHN McCALLUM
The Cheney Planning Commission gave its final, official approval at its Feb. 12 meeting to the construction of a new self-storage facility on Andrus Road between First Street and Cheney-Spokane Road.
Owned by Northwest Renovators of Liberty Lake, Two Boots Self Storage will be a 37,500 square foot, two-story facility consisting of two storage buildings and an office.
The top floors of the buildings will be at-grade with Andrus Road on the west while the bottom, and at 20,350 square feet, the larger floor, will only be visible from the east, which is bordered by the Palouse River Coulee City rail line. A smaller, third storage building will be located on grade with the lower floor on the east side of the property, and is planned for a later phase.
The commission originally approved the facility's conditional use permit at its January meeting, but information taken in public testimony at that and the December meeting needed to be included in the final permit language for the project to proceed. That language addressed aesthetic concerns raised by business owners in the nearby Cheney Plaza office complex, and how NW Renovators planned to deal with those issues, which is to modify the facility's landscaping and screening.
The commission agreed to developers' proposal for a green, vinyl-coated metal fence along Andrus Road to screen the top floor from view from Cheney Plaza and First Street/SR-904. The owners went along with a commission request to use cultured stonework on the lower 30 inches of three sides of the office building walls to blend in with the storage building's proposed color scheme of Kelly green and ivory, although spruce and beige may be substituted in order to conform with the look of the nearby office complex.
One final change came at the meeting when interim City Administrator John Montague noted permit language seemed to indicate NW Renovators would pave all of Andrus Road as part of their agreement.
“If this were a subdivision we would require him to pave all of the road,” planning director Tom Richardson said. “For this, we're requiring him to pave out from his facility to SR-904; that's the shortest route.”
Commissioner Don Nichols asked about people accessing Two Boots from the Cheney-Spokane Road end of Andrus, which is in dilapidated condition and needs repair. Richardson said the city's options are to close the road or seek grant money to help pay for repaving.
“Or possibly the people in the area could form an improvement district and fix it themselves,” he added.
Commissioner Tillman Carr asked if the commission had addressed a letter from Norman Chase, a nearby resident, who is concerned that plans to back fill some of the property could cause water to drain onto his property located along First Street. Commission chair Mike Rossey said they had.
“He's (Chase) talking about the next phase where a proposed office building could be in the future,” Richardson said. “That's outside this project.”
Carr asked if the planning commission would get a chance to review that portion of the project, and Richardson said it depended upon NW Renovators, adding it could go directly to council or come before the commission first.
“It's kind of up to them how they choose to do it,” he said.
The commission voted 6-0 to endorse the permit, which now goes to the City Council for final approval.
John McCallum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org