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Eyesore: City mulls halt to use of storage units

February 14, 2017 GMT

HARLINGEN — For years, the long, boxy metal storage units have stood outside many businesses across town.

And three of them still sit at two city parks and the Wilson Sports Complex.

Tomorrow, commissioners are expected to consider calling a 90-day moratorium on administrative permits allowing any new storage containers.

Meanwhile, City Hall’s staff is working on an ordinance aimed at banning the containers, City Manager Dan Serna said yesterday.

“The intent is to prohibit the use of them on a permanent basis,” Serna said.

For months, commissioners have called the big metal boxes eyesores spreading across town.

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“It’s something that’s been a cause of concern,” Serna said.

Mayor Chris Boswell describes the storage units as standing in the way of the city’s beautification project.

“We see more and more spring up across the city,” Serna said. “We’re trying to keep the city looking orderly and nice for our citizens.”

Last year, officials asked Walmart to remove as many 40 storage units standing in long rows in the back of the store off Lincoln Avenue.

“That drew attention to the issue,” Serna said.

Now, commissioners are pointing to the blue storage containers sitting outside some Stripes Convenience Stores.

So far, a total of about 10 storage units stand outside Stripe stores, said Rodrigo Davila, the city’s planning director.

“Stripes has been very cooperative,” Davila said. “We have received positive feedback.”

As officials prepare to consider the proposed moratorium, they did some housekeeping.

At McKelvey, Pendleton, Victor and Arroyo parks, crews removed storage units, said Javier Mendez, the city’s parks director.

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.

If the city approves the 90-day moratorium, commissioners would consider requests for storage units used for such purposes as big construction projects, Serna said.

Serna said the city will recommend storage units be replaced by structures such as storage sheds.

fdelvalle@valleystar.com