Controversy over proposed self-storage facility in Bonita

The development would be next to Bonita Road
Posted at 5:53 PM, Sep 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-10 20:54:07-04

BONITA (KGTV) - Some Bonita residents are concerned about a proposed self-storage facility near Bonita Road, which could go before the county planning commission before the end of the year.


Sharmane Estolano raised her family in Bonita.


“It’s such a small Mayberry community feel here,” she said.


The proposed development would be more than 133,000 square feet with more than 900 units. Estolano believes it’s the wrong project in the wrong area.


“It would be devastating to the community. We have a little Montessori school behind us, we have a fire department, but outside of that, it’s just residential with everybody having a half acre lot,” Estolano said.


Some people who live nearby are not shy about how they feel, with “Stop Bonita Storage” signs in their front yard.


“It’s putting a project that normally is found in an industrial community right smack in the middle of a very quiet community,” Estolano said.


Jim Groth believes the self-storage facility is not needed.


“The bottom line is supply and demand. There is no demand so there is no supply,” Groth said.


Those in charge of the project disagree. Chris Brown, a development consultant working with the owner of the land, told 10News: “There is not only a demand for it, but the general area is underserved.”


Brown would not talk on camera, but said they are working with the people who live near the proposed project.


“At every stage, we’ve been responsive,” Brown said. “It’s a great project.”


He also said it’s the “least impactive” as far as crime, traffic, and noise are concerned.


Estolano is consulting a lawyer, looking into legal options to stop the proposed facility.


“Bonita is the last rural community in the South County. We are striving to keep that together,” she said.


Both Estolano and Groth are not opposed to homes being built on that land.


10News reached out to the county. A spokesperson released this statement regarding the project:


“The County received the Major Use Permit application on August 23, 2016.  The Sweetwater Community Planning Group (CPG), which is a community advisory group, considered the project last Tuesday (9/4). The CPG voted to recommend denial of the project. The Major Use Permit is a Planning Commission decision which is appealable to the Board of Supervisors.  


The project is out for public review for the environmental documents until October 8 at 4:00 p.m. Depending on the amount and complexity of the comments received, the project may be able to go to the Planning Commission by end of the year or the beginning of next. The project will not be able to break ground if and until a Major Use Permit is approved, all Major Use Permit conditions are completed and the final engineering process is completed.”