By Chad Ingram
Published June 16 2016
Algonquin Highlands residents with opinionson shipping containers as storage buildings will want to mark Aug. 20 on theircalendars.
The township will hold a public meeting onthe issue at the Dorset Recreation Centre on Saturday Aug. 20.
Council is working on a zoning bylawamendment to regulate the use of shipping containers – such as the body of atransport truck or sea shipping bins – being used as storage buildings onproperties in the township.
The issue was first discussed by council ata May 5 meeting.
A draft bylaw prepared by planner SeanO'Callaghan suggested a maximum two shipping containers for purposes ofstorage per property in the following zones: rural (RU); highway commercial(C1); general commercial (C2); general industrial (M1); extractiveindustrial-pits (M2); extractive industrial – pits and quarries (M2A); andwaste disposal industrial (M3). Among other requirements the draft bylawstated that shipping containers must comply with the setbacks for each zone andbe completely screened from view of adjacent properties and roadways.
However councillors Brian Lynch LisaBarry and Marlene Kyle requested that recreational commercial (C3) zoning andrural residential (RR) be added to the list. The latter came over protestationfrom Reeve Carol Moffatt who was adamant the structures should not bepermitted in any area with any kind of residential zoning.
Moffatt re-iterated that stance during aJune 16 council meeting.
“I don't think they should be in anyresidential zone” Moffatt said adding the many residents she'd spoken toabout the issue seemed to agree. “Most people are saying I do not want thosethings anywhere near residential.”
Deputy-reeve Liz Danielsen who was absentfrom the May discussion also agreed worrying that “sea cans” in residentialareas would quickly lead to conversations about shipping containers asresidential dwellings and tiny homes.
“Don't forget it's not just shippingcontainers it's also truck bodies” Moffatt said.
After some discussion Kyle and Barry saidthey agreed with pulling rural residential (RR) zoning out of the draft bylawamendment.
Under the bylaw any containers measuringmore than 10 square metres would qualify as structures and therefore requirebuilding permits.
Barry asked if there would be certainrequirements dictating what sort of bases the containers needed to be locatedon.
“I've been talking to some taxpayers whoare 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'ssitting on.”
Any amendment to a municipal zoning bylawrequires a public meeting and a public meeting on the containers is scheduledfor Saturday Aug. 20 at the Dorset Rec Centre at 10 a.m.