“Non-conforming” is a designation no business owner wants. It means a business can’t be rebuilt if more than 65 percent of the building is burned, or if things are put on hold for more than six months. And it makes selling such a business much more difficult.
Monday night, the Covington City Council did what it could to help owners of the mini-warehouses in the Fred’s shopping center on U.S. 278 by changing the zoning districts such businesses can be built in.
The warehouses were zoned “corridor mixed use,” which did not allow such businesses. The city’s planning commission voted recently to change the definition to include mini-warehouses. Monday night, the council agreed.
That does open all areas of corridor mixed use to mini-warehouses, city planner Scott Gaither said.
The alternative, zoning that mini-warehouse complex as “light industrial” to make it conform with the city’s zoning, would have made part of a shopping center a place where recycling centers or full-size warehouses could be built, Gaither said.
Councilman Chris Smith worried about changing the zoning to put light manufacturing beside the homes the border the mini-warehouses now.
More mini-warehouses are likely to spring up in the city, Gaither said, as the existing units are “kind of full” now.
“That’s not our concern,” Smith said. “I’m a lot more confident moving mini-storage to CMU than I am to change it to (light industrial).”
A second reading on the zoning change will be held Sept. 15.
The owners of the property requested the zoning change to make selling it easier, although no sale appears imminent.