Forty-five residents of Eagle Rock turned out on Tuesday evening, Jan. 24 to say “NO” to the proposal to build an 85,000 square foot storage facility on the Ernie Jr’s site at the west entrance to Eagle Rock.
The occasion was a meeting of the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council (ERNC) that had to be specially scheduled to let residents weigh in on the proposal, which has been fast tracked by the City Planning Department but was first brought to the community’s attention barely a month ago. None of the residents who attended the meeting raised a hand in favor of the proposal.
Residents objected on the grounds that the building was too big and out of character and would be especially unsightly at the entryway to the neighborhood. Several residents questioned whether a new storage facility was needed, given that there are already storage facilities on Colorado Blvd. in Eagle Rock and on Eagle Rock Blvd. in Glassell Park. One member of the ERNC, John Acevedo, said he had asked the residents who live near the proposed development if they wanted a storage facility and they all said no.
A representative from StorQuest, the storage company, told the residents that in exchange for approval of the project, the company would offer 600 square feet of the facility – less than 1 percent of the area – for some designated community use. He also said the company could offer some wall space for murals.
None of the ERNC board members was in favor of recommending approval of the zoning variances implicit in the project. And, notably, one board member, citing a preliminary presentation of the project to the ERNC Land Use Committee in 2015, said it seemed “disingenuous” of StorQuest to return three years later for a last minute blessing of the project.
At the end of the meeting, the members of the ERNC voted not to approve the project as presented. They also said they would send a letter to Councilmember José Huizar and City Planning saying that the project does not add to the general well being of the community, fullfill public necessity or convenience and that approval would not be good zoning practice.