Public meeting on storage containers Aug. 20
By Chad Ingram
Published June 16, 2016
Algonquin Highlands residents with opinions on shipping containers as storage buildings will want to mark Aug. 20 on their calendars.
The township will hold a public meeting on the issue at the Dorset Recreation Centre on Saturday, Aug. 20.
Council is working on a zoning bylaw amendment to regulate the use of shipping containers – such as the body of a transport truck or sea shipping bins - being used as storage buildings on properties in the township.
The issue was first discussed by council at a May 5 meeting.
A draft bylaw prepared by planner Sean O'Callaghan suggested a maximum two shipping containers, for purposes of storage, per property in the following zones: rural (RU); highway commercial (C1); general commercial (C2); general industrial (M1); extractive industrial-pits (M2); extractive industrial – pits and quarries (M2A); and waste disposal industrial (M3). Among other requirements, the draft bylaw stated that shipping containers must comply with the setbacks for each zone and be completely screened from view of adjacent properties and roadways.
However, councillors Brian Lynch, Lisa Barry and Marlene Kyle requested that recreational commercial (C3) zoning and rural residential (RR) be added to the list. The latter came over protestation from Reeve Carol Moffatt, who was adamant the structures should not be permitted in any area with any kind of residential zoning.
Moffatt re-iterated that stance during a June 16 council meeting.
“I don't think they should be in any residential zone,” Moffatt said, adding the many residents she'd spoken to about the issue seemed to agree. “Most people are saying, I do not want those things anywhere near residential.”
Deputy-reeve Liz Danielsen, who was absent from the May discussion also agreed, worrying that “sea cans” in residential areas would quickly lead to conversations about shipping containers as residential dwellings and tiny homes.
“Don't forget it's not just shipping containers, it's also truck bodies,” Moffatt said.
After some discussion, Kyle and Barry said they agreed with pulling rural residential (RR) zoning out of the draft bylaw amendment.
Under the bylaw, any containers measuring more than 10 square metres would qualify as structures, and therefore require building permits.
Barry asked if there would be certain requirements dictating what sort of bases the containers needed to be located on.
“I've been talking to some taxpayers who are concerned about leaching into the ground,” she said.
“That would be part of the permit process,” said building and bylaw officer Dave Rogers. “We'd want to know what it's sitting on.”
Any amendment to a municipal zoning bylaw requires a public meeting and a public meeting on the containers is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 20 at the Dorset Rec Centre at 10 a.m.