HANCOCK COUNTY — Representatives from a national storage company recently presented local officials with plans to open a location between Greenfield and Cumberland.
Storage Express, a Bloomington-based company that operates 90 self-service storage facilities across Indiana and surrounding states, hopes to break ground on a new site with more than 400 units at 6722 U.S. 40 West before the end of the year.
This week, Kyle Gilpin, field service supervisor for Storage Express, asked members of the Hancock County Area Plan Commission to rezone the 4.7-acre property where the company hopes to build.
Several residents showed up at the plan commission meeting to voice opposition to the development, saying they fear the business could attract criminal activity to the area, which is currently made up of mostly agricultural land.
After hearing residents’ concerns, members of the plan commission decided to delay a decision on the development until its next meeting, scheduled for May 24 in the Hancock County Annex, 111 American Legion Place.
The proposed facility would consist of heated, cooled and traditional units measuring anywhere from 50-square-feet to 300-square-feet, Gilpin said, adding that rental costs haven’t been determined.
The perimeter of the facility would be fenced, and customers could access their units around the clock via a gated entrance, he said.
But that level of accessibility is concerning to Wayne and Jeannette Tucker, who live on U.S. 40 just east of the proposed site.
The married couple worries the site could attract criminal activity if patrons are permitted to file in and out of the facility whenever they please.
Security cameras at the facility would be monitored 24/7 by staff members, and customer service will also be available around the clock, Gilpin said.
The center would also offer a self-service kiosk where customers can buy locks or pay for rental units.
Members of the plan commission said they plan to review plans for the development ahead of the next meeting. If the development is approved by the commission at the May meeting, a public hearing will be held at the following meeting, scheduled for June 28 at the county annex.
Mike Dale, director of the Hancock County Building and Planning Department, said the property might need to gain additional approval from the plan commission to allow the structure to be built closer to the road than current local rules allow.
Once construction begins, Gilpin said the facility could be completed within three to four months, depending on weather conditions. Company representatives purchased the property in 2015 for $90,000, county records show.
In 2015, Storage Express opened three new facilities across Indiana.