6-5-2024 P&Z Meeting Summary
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The Palm Bay Planning and Zoning Board convened on June 5, 2024 to review several significant development proposals, including a contentious rezoning and conditional use request for a new self-storage facility on Kogan Drive. The meeting saw a mix of support and opposition from board members and the public, ultimately resulting in the approval of all items on the agenda.

Self-Storage Facility Proposal

The applicant, represented by civil engineer Jake Wise and investment group representative Adam Sauerstein, sought to rezone a 3-acre parcel on Kogan Drive from General Use Holding District to Community Commercial District. They also requested a conditional use permit to construct a three-story, 100,000 square foot self-storage facility on the site.
  • The proposed building features an office-like appearance with enhanced architectural elements to blend seamlessly with the surrounding community.
  • The facility is expected to generate minimal traffic, with an average of 15 trips per day.
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Arguments For and Against

  • Supporters argued that the self-storage facility would meet a significant community need, citing a saturation level of only 6.5 square feet per person, below the national average of 10 square feet per person. They also emphasized the project's potential economic benefits, converting vacant land into a revenue-generating business that contributes to the city's tax base without adding residential density.
  • Opponents raised concerns about the loss of green space, potential impacts on local wildlife and pedestrian safety, and the saturation of storage units in the area. Critics contended that Bayside Lakes was not intended to become a hub for storage facilities and emphasized the need to preserve the community's residential character.
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Board's Unanimous Approval

The Planning and Zoning Board approved the rezoning (Case Z23-0015) and conditional use (Case CU23-0019) requests for the Kogan Drive self-storage facility with a unanimous vote of 7-0. The board also reviewed and approved preliminary (Case PS24-0002) and final (Case FS24-0003) plat requests for the Palm Bay Stor Now project on Malabar Road, which involves:
  • Subdividing a 9.75-acre parcel into two commercial lots, one housing a self-storage facility currently under construction.
  • Shared stormwater management and utilities serving both lots.
  • A single entrance on Malabar Road to minimize traffic disruptions.
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Future Meeting Schedule

During the meeting, board members discussed the scheduling of future meetings, particularly the potential cancellation of June meetings to align with the City Council's schedule.
  • The Board Chairman expressed displeasure with the current scheduling and advocated for amending the bylaws to eliminate June meetings starting in 2025.
  • The proposed change aims to provide a break for staff and volunteers, ensuring more efficient and focused meetings.
  • The suggestion will be revisited in future discussions as the board approaches the 2025 meeting schedule.
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