Council committee moves to pull Downtown self-storage bill

A bill that would change Jacksonville’s Downtown overlay code to allow self-storage facilities appears to be headed for withdrawal after months of neighborhood opposition.

The City Council Land Use and Zoning Committee voted 6-0 on July 19 to withdraw Ordinance 2021-0821 after the bill’s introducer, Council member Reggie Gaffney, pulled his support. 

Gaffney filed the bill in November 2021 at the request of an Atlanta-based developer.

Driver, McAfee, Hawthorne & Diebenow partner Steve Diebenow is the attorney representing real estate company The Simpson Group, the developer.

Diebenow told the Council in June that the company was under contract to buy a Downtown Southbank property where it wants to build a self-storage center.

Residents and business owners on the Southbank and in neighboring San Marco fought the bill, filing a petition and sending Council members more than 120 emails in opposition. 

That pushed Council, including Gaffney, to halt the process in June and vote 12-7 to re-refer the bill to the LUZ committee.

Read the full story here.