A Kings Park industrial business owner plans to seek a dozen variances and a special exception permit in order to rent his property to an outdoor storage company.
Mike Cox, owner of real estate holding companies DWC Management LLC and KVC Holding LLC, wants to rent his 4-acre property, located on the west side of Old Northport Road, south of Townline Road, to Mobile Mini.
The firm bills itself "a leading storage company in the nation, with over 130 locations throughout North America," according to its website.
Mobile Mini, of Commack, wants to store as many as 600 steel "overseas" containers that range from 20 to 40 feet long at the Kings Park site, said Cox's attorney Vincent Trimarco Sr.
The company would stack as many as three empty containers on top of each other to a maximum height of 24 feet, Cox said.
"They don't keep articles inside . . . they deliver these storage boxes to various homeowners or businesses and when they're done with them, they pick them up," Trimarco said at a Kings Park Civic Association meeting last week, adding that company trucks would load or unload containers six to eight times a day.
Trimarco said he also represents Mobile Mini in a separate lawsuit against the zoning board, appealing a decision to deny variances needed for the company to operate at its Commack site.
The Kings Park property is zoned for light industry, which allows trucking stations as a special exception, but does not permit outdoor storage.
Cox's application asks the zoning board to decide whether storing containers is permitted as an accessory use to a trucking station and whether containers are "commercial vehicles."
Trimarco said a trucking station designation applies because "you have to truck these containers to wherever they go."
The Smithtown zoning board is to hold a hearing on the issue Tuesday night at 7 at the Eugene Cannataro Senior Center.
Several residents have raised concerns about variances that include reducing setbacks from 50 feet to zero, potentially making the stacked containers visible from the road.
"It just seems so extreme and I'm wondering that if you have four acres, why it's necessary to drop, to reduce everything to zero?" said Michelle Garry, a member of the Old Northport Road-Lawrence Road Task Force.
Cox said he would "be happy to create buffers" and plantings to reduce the appearance of the containers. "I'm not the type of guy who wants to look at that either."
Structures on the site would include a garage and two mobile offices, Cox said. Sean Lehmann, president of the civic association, asked what benefit the move would be to the tax base if the company only planned to use mobile offices.
"Everybody's using these mobile trailers and not paying taxes on it, instead of putting a building on the property," he said of the Kings Park industrial businesses. "We're not getting anything in taxes, but they're getting offices."