Development Code Amendments

Planning Commission Considers Addition to Development Code

On June 27, 2023 and July 11, 2023 at 6:00 PM, the City Council will consider an amendment to the Baker City Development Code that would allow a residential caretakers unit in conjunction with self-service storage in the General-Commercial zone. The Planning Commission held a public hearing on May 17, 2023 and recommended the City Council approve the amendment.

A residential caretakers unit is often referred to as a watchman’s quarters. This proposed change to the Development Code would allow one residential caretakers unit to be located with a self-service storage business as long as the following criteria were met:

One residential caretaker unit may be permitted in conjunction with a self-service storage facility, subject to the following conditions. A caretaker shall be defined as a person employed to look after a building.

a. A Conditional Use Permit must be obtained from the Planning Commission.

b. The self-service storage facility shall remain the primary use, and the residential caretaker unit shall be incidental and subordinate to the primary use.

c. The primary self-service storage use shall be an active on-going business, occupied during working hours with employee activity, and shall have a storage building footprint of no less than 5,000 ft2. If the primary self-service storage use ceases to exist, the caretaker unit shall be removed. If the primary self-service storage use is closed for more than 24 months, the caretaker unit shall not be occupied.

1. An existing, ongoing business will have been operated from the subject property, open for business to the general public, and have substantially all of the equipment and supplies necessary for operating a business. If requested by the City, the property owner shall provide proof of an existing, ongoing business by demonstrating the components of this section are true and by producing proof of income from the business.

d. The caretakers unit shall be served with public water and sanitary sewerage disposal, in conformance with city engineering requirements. It may be a stick-built house, a single-wide manufactured home newer than 1990, or a dwelling incorporated into an existing, permitted building. The unit shall be no larger than 1,000 ft2. It must be located within 150 ft. of, and in sight of, the primary self-service storage use.

e. Caretaker units shall be required to meet applicable fire safety and building code requirements, in addition to the applicable setback standards of this chapter.

In order to have a residential caretakers unit, a Conditional Use Permit approved by the Planning Commission would be needed.

The Development Code currently allows residences to be located above or below the ground floor in the General-Commercial zone. This change would allow a residential caretakers unit that was used in conjunction with a self-service storage facility to be located on the ground floor.

The public is invited to attend the City Council's meetings and provide testimony about the proposal. If you would like to submit written testimony or have questions about the proposal, call Holly Kerns at 541-523-8219 or email

The staff report and meeting information is included here.