Storage concerns unite Maryvale PTA -- Gazette.Net







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Plenty of parents worry about storage space, but it’s usually more a matter of where to put things than a 109,764-square-foot public storage facility.

Parents and community members around Maryvale Elementary School in Rockville are concerned about that very thing.

EzStorage, a Columbia-based self-storage company, filed application in May to build a facility at 1175 Taft St., within two blocks of the school.

“Our overarching concern with the ezStorage proposal is increased, larger vehicular traffic on that corner [Taft and First streets], which is a busy pedestrian intersection of children walking to and from school,” Melissa McKenna, past president of Maryvale’s PTA and now vice president of advocacy, wrote in an email. “With Head Start and pre-K programs at the school, we have children as young as 3 being escorted by 5-7 year-old older siblings and we are naturally protective of their safety.”

After a March 6 pre-application community meeting, the PTA adopted a resolution regarding the proposed storage facility stating that they are not in favor of the plan and encouraging the Rockville City Council and Rockville City Planning Commission to oppose it.

They also have an online petition at Move On Petitions opposing the storage facility.

“These facilities can increase large vehicle traffic, and invite unlawful activity and dangerous individuals and materials into school zones and neighborhoods. Even ‘Self Storage Association,’ in coordination with Department of Homeland Security, sent an alert to self-storage owners and managers about the potential for illegal use of these units in connection with terrorism. Our school zone and family neighborhood location is not appropriate for this facility,” the petition says.

As of June 16, the petition had 120 signatures. There were 583 students at Maryvale during the 2013-2014 school year.

The proposed facility will have four levels, 900 storage units, 1,100 square feet of office space and a dwelling unit for a resident manager.

A planner with the City of Rockville said he expects the proposal to go the city planning commission in August.

Ez Storage has 39 facilities in Maryland, including five in Montgomery County; Takoma Park, Rockville, Germantown, Gaithersburg and Bethesda according to the business’s website.