Anoka approves mini storage facility on Bunker

A north metro business owner has permission to expand on his property with a new mini storage business.

The Anoka City Council has approved a conditional use permit for Sharp and Associates at 740 Bunker Lake Blvd. to construct three new mini storage buildings and add on to an existing building.

The plan required a review by both the planning commission and the council. A conditional use permit was required to allow more than one principal building on the property as well as for the property to be used as a storage facility, which is not an approved use in this particular zoning district.

The existing building was built in 1973. The property was mostly recently owned by Egan Oil and used for storage of materials and trucks related to the business, according to City Planner Erik Thorvig. The property has been vacant for a number of years.

Owner Dennis Sharp presented his company’s plans to the city council last month.

“We would like to put up this facility to complement one we have just to the west, which is full now (at Ramsey Mini Storage),” said Sharp.

The plans include the construction of two 3,400 square-foot buildings, along with another 8,000 square-foot storage facility. The existing building on the property will also be expanded and used for heated storage, said Sharp.

“It was determined this was similar to other conditionally permitted uses in the district,” said Planning Director Carolyn Braun.

A storage facility had been previously approved in 2001 at 650 Bunker Lake Blvd.

The planning commission did discuss having the sight line of the business buffered from Bunker Lake Boulevard, said Braun.

In response, Sharp changed the landscaping plans to reflect the commission’s request.

Sharp said there will also be some outside storage, which was of concern to Councilmember Jeff Weaver.

“It won’t be permanent outside storage, but more of a staging facility,” said Sharp.

Weaver said he would hate to see an accumulation of junk that never moves in that particular neighborhood.

Braun also said the approval isn’t intended for permanent outdoor storage.

Sharp added that ivy will be planted along a fence that will screen the storage area from view. The storage facility he owns in Maple Grove is similarly screened, he said.

“It’s going to be a great enhancement to that corner,” said Councilmember Steve Schmidt.

Sharp would be investing a lot of money in the property and it would be an improvement from its current condition, he said.

“This is another property that is located within our industrial park and another person that is investing significant improvement to the property and to the area,” said Mayor Phil Rice. “With many people living in apartments and smaller homes, storage facilities are a necessity. This is a service to the community.”

Mandy Moran Froemming is at [email protected]