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3 advantages of a zone change for self storage development

By Marc Goodin There are many advantages to getting a zone change for your self-storage. The top three are:

1) The location will typically have less competition because there are fewer self storages nearby. Which leads to faster rent up, higher rental rates, and higher profits.

2) Since most people avoid zone changes the chance of additional competition in the future is less.

3) Often you can purchase the property for significantly less than a property that does not requires a zone change. A nine-acre residential lot may sell for $500,000 but be worth $1,000,000 after the zone change.

To summarize you can find a better site for less money. Many developers only look at land parcels that require a zone change (or the close cousin, a major variance) due to the advantages of a zone change.

So if it's such a great idea why does Storage Authority recommend franchise owners not go for zone changes or major variance? Because most zone changes get denied. An average zone change takes about 4+ months before a decision is made and costs $5,000 to significantly more. I tell our franchisees that you have to be prepared to apply for 4 or 5 zone changes to get one approved.

The odds of getting a zone change is similar to having 4 hockey games playing the same time on the frozen ocean. It does not happen often but here is proof that is happening now in my wifes home town WAY up north!

We have one go-getter franchisee who over time found 4 great sites that needed a zone change or a major variance. He did his homework and met with staff and confirmed the staff and was in favor and the odds for a zone change were good. And he also confirmed with both a local attorney and engineer that there was sufficient positive reasoning to provide the city that a zone change made sense at each location. And still, 3 different zone change requests in a row were denied.

The fourth one was Approved!!!!! It took multiple concept plans, a major regulation rewrite to premit self storage and even than a variance was required. Most people would have been so discouraged after two or three no's they would have never made it to a yes. Hats off to Franchise Owner to Rick. If you don't give up you can't loose.

If you want to have a 15-minute call to learn how Storage Authority helps insure the above items and more are accomplished at your facility and how we help you find land and get your facility built please send me an email or call me – no appointment needed:

Get more information on Storage Authority Franchise at

Marc Goodin is the President of Storage Authority Franchising. He owns 3 self-storages he designed, built, and manages. He has been helping others in the self-storage industry for over 25 years. He can be reached at or directly at 860-830-6764 to answer your franchising, development, marketing, sales, and operations questions. His best selling self- storage books are available on Amazon.


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