City stops spread of storage units

HARLINGEN — There’s a city-wide crackdown on the big, hulky storage units standing along many businesses in town.

Last night, city commissioners approved a 90-day moratorium on administrative permits allowing any new storage containers from springing up.

Meanwhile, City Manager Dan Serna is drafting an ordinance aimed at banning the bulky storage boxes within city limits.

Mayor Chris Boswell said the long, metal containers clash with his administration’s drive to beautify the city.

“We’re trying to improve the aesthetics and appearance of the city,” Boswell said after the meeting.

Serna has recommended buildings such as storage sheds replace the metal containers.

During the 90-day moratorium, commissioners would consider requests for new storage units used for construction projects, said Rodrigo Davila, the city’s planning director.

Last year, officials first took action against storage units when they asked Wal-Mart to remove as many 40 containers standing in long rows in the back of its store off Lincoln Avenue.

Recently, commissioners began pointing to the blue storage units sitting outside some Stripes Convenience Stores.

A total of about 10 storage containers stand outside Stripes stores, Davila said.

Boswell said the storage containers are big eyesores springing up in the city’s business areas.

“A lot of these things are popping up along thoroughfares,” Boswell said.

Boswell said some storage units are hogging tight parking lots.

“Some are going in small parking lots and limiting parking spaces,” Boswell said.

Before calling for the moratorium, officials had to clean up their own house.

At McKelvey, Pendleton, Victor and Arroyo parks, crews removed storage units.

Parks Director Javier Mendez said he’s trying to remove a storage container remaining at Hugh Ramsey Nature Park.

Meanwhile, the Harlingen National Bronco League and the Texas Youth Football League are planning to remove a total of two units standing at Victor Park and the Wilson Sports Complex.