The Dryden Observer

Your Source for Dryden News

City to consult residents on storage container zoning

Storage containers are a hot topic for Dryden’s staff and council, and soon its residents as a public consultation process moves forward with a goal of amending current zoning bylaws to regulate these containers.

Chief building official Pamela Skillen recommended council direct staff to proceed with advertising a required public meeting to receive comments from the public regarding the proposed changes to the zoning bylaw. “

At the request of council as directed by the chief administration officer (CAO), the chief building official (CBO) in consultation with the land use and planning committee have been working over the last couple months on a review of the use of shipping containers and trailers on all lots within municipal boundaries,” Skillen wrote in a report to council.

“A review of the current bylaw as related to containers and trailers has been determined as inadequate based on the current state and number of containers witnessed in the municipality.”

The CBO and land use and planning committee identified that the storage container and trailer bylaw needs additional clarification and requirements to effectively control the use and placement of these items. Currently, the bylaw doesn’t permit the use of a trailer, storage container, or shipping container as an accessory building or structure.

The zoning bylaw has to be updated to control how and where containers as buildings are used, recognizing that they can play an important role for business operations. The proposed amendment would regulate for all zones, setting out maximum sizes and permitted locations for residential, commercial, and industrial zones, and restricting use in residential areas.

“The building and planning department will work with all owners who currently have storage containers and storage trailers on their properties, to ensure compliance with the proposed regulations,” Skillen said at the meeting.

There is no grandfathering clause in the amendment, Skillen explained. “We have gone from a point of absolutely restricting them to being able to allow them in areas where it could be advantageous to the owners — so your commercial, your industrial zones,” she said. “They do have a purpose. They just need to be regulated so they aren’t either congesting the property or preventing it for fire purposes and access… It doesn’t limit or prevent. It actually allows probably more than is currently there, but with regulations that we can enforce.”

There are businesses with many storage containers in place right now, something Skillen said her department won’t come down on with a hammer, but will look at trying to proceed with a feasible plan recognizing that businesses need time to change. For construction projects using storage containers throughout the process, the goal is to keep people honest about how containers are being used, and have them removed when the project is completed.

The public can watch for upcoming consultations. Anything warranting revisions would be done following the statutory meetings and before the final passing of the amended bylaw.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.