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Construction Storage container buildings

Coragus

Cyburbian
Messages
1,296
Points
24
Our Township's zoning administrator has just been overruled by our ZBA. A resident appealed his decision to deny a zoning permit. The resident wanted to use a storage container as an accessory structure.

This is threatening to blow up. The ZBA referred it to my PC and the Board. The Board is discussing a moratorium on storage container buildings even though this is the only known example. The PC is researching the issue and that is where I come in.

My assistant and I are having a difficult time finding good examples of municipalities regulation storage container buildings. I know that they are okay (do a Google Image Search for storage container building and you'll see). I also know that at least once commissioner said that he wouldn't want a storage container shed popping up in is neighbor's back yard in his small lot SFR subdivision.

Do any of you have a storage container regulation you can point me at? The issue is mostly revolving around accessory structures, but this is also a principal building issue too.

Moderator note:

~Gedunker
Coragus Do you mean shipping containers? I can edit the thread title accordingly if you do.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

luckless pedestrian

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,990
Points
54
It depends on your definitions of structure, building, temporary structure/building, and accessory structure/building

If the unit is meant to be permanently there, then it's an accessory structure/building and would have to comply with the requirements thereto imho
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
7,167
Points
40
Our Township's zoning administrator has just been overruled by our ZBA. A resident appealed his decision to deny a zoning permit. The resident wanted to use a storage container as an accessory structure.

This is threatening to blow up. The ZBA referred it to my PC and the Board. The Board is discussing a moratorium on storage container buildings even though this is the only known example. The PC is researching the issue and that is where I come in.

My assistant and I are having a difficult time finding good examples of municipalities regulation storage container buildings. I know that they are okay (do a Google Image Search for storage container building and you'll see). I also know that at least once commissioner said that he wouldn't want a storage container shed popping up in is neighbor's back yard in his small lot SFR subdivision.

Do any of you have a storage container regulation you can point me at? The issue is mostly revolving around accessory structures, but this is also a principal building issue too.

I understand the moratorium. Who knows how many other permits have been denied for the same use, just didn't reach the appeal stage.

If it's a huge issue, maybe just limit by construction type (IE stick built) or some sort of dimensional guideline that excludes storage containers. They are all basically a set size so it would seemingly be straightforward to draft some language that essentially disallows them based on size. Something like "accessory structures that are of a construction type other than stick built over 12' in length must have a door opening of no more than 12' in width". Storage containers generally have a door width of 8', so by that language they'd no longer be permissible. I suppose you'd get the entrepreneur who welds two together for a door width of 16', but that's another issue I guess.

Or alternatively require that the accessory structure be in "keeping with the primary dwelling". I've seen that before.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
15,420
Points
53
I would look at the aesthetic part mostly. Like AG said, keep it in style with the house. My last city rejected them on building code grounds. It couldn't be inspected so no deal. Add in proper strapping or tie downs engineered to withstand wind loads, etc. and no one will do it.

My county allows them with no problem, but we're rural and a shipping container isn't noticed by a neighbor half a mile away.

I would make sure that the containers are not modified. They are engineered to be tanks, but if you cut into them in any way you destroy that integrity.
 

arcplans

As Featured in "High Times"
Messages
6,714
Points
34
I worked with our previous building official at my previous employer for some cargo container rules. I will post them on here. We had a Design Review Committee make the compatibility finding.

(g) Cargo Containers. Cargo containers (also referred to as “Seatrains” or shipping containers) are defined as a prefabricated metal structure designed for use as an enclosed truck trailer in accordance with Department of Transportation (DOT) standards. The use of cargo containers for accessory storage purposes is permitted based on the following standards:

(1) Use of Cargo Containers.

(i) Cargo containers shall be utilized for accessory storage only. Occupancy shall be limited to a “U” occupancy consistent with the California Building Code (CBC) or its successor title.

(ii) Cargo containers shall not be used for permanent or temporary human occupancies, including, but not limited to, living, sleeping or other residential uses.

(2) Number of Cargo Containers Permitted.

(i) One (1) cargo container may be permitted on a commercial, industrial or single-family residential lot over one (1) gross acre in size, subject to Design Review Committee (DRC) review for neighborhood compatibility and approval of a building permit.

(ii) Two (2) or more cargo containers may be permitted with a minor conditional use permit (CUP) on a commercial, industrial, or single-family residential lot over one (1) gross acre in size, subject to Planning Commission review for neighborhood compatibility and approval of a building permit.

(3) Standards for Cargo Containers.

(i) Building Permit. A building permit is required for cargo containers over one hundred twenty (120) square feet in size. A cargo container which is one hundred twenty (120) square feet or less, is exempt from building permit requirements provided it meets property line and structure setbacks required by this title and does not have any utility connections.

(ii) Setbacks. Cargo containers shall be located in the rear half of the property in commercial, industrial and residential zones. Cargo containers shall not be permitted within the front or street facing side yard setback of a residential property. Setbacks shall be consistent with underlying zone setback requirements and is consistent with the preceding subsections (1) and (2).

(iii) Foundation. Cargo containers shall be anchored on a foundation system capable of withstanding all imposed vertical and horizontal loads and consistent with all applicable codes. Any alterations to the container shall be designed and detailed by a licensed design professional. All foundations and alterations shall be approved by the Chief Building Official.

(iv) The cargo container may not occupy any required parking areas or obstruct any Fire Department access ways.

(4) Exemptions.

(i) Use of cargo containers for temporary on-site storage associated with a construction project is exempt from this section (refer to subsection (a)).

(ii) Use of cargo containers for temporary commercial storage may be allowed with the approval of an administrative use permit for a period not to exceed four (4) months
 

Faust_Motel

Cyburbian
Messages
779
Points
31
Bringing this one back for the excellent inspection report on this Florida "snow park," made mostly out of shipping containers. Judging by the notes, they don't like shipping containers being used for much other than as shipping containers down there. (also, some great electrical work there)


My other thought is that who on earth is getting inside a refrigerated dome with other people in 2020, but then again this is the state that will pull an armed raid on a GIS tech they fired for telling the trust about Covid so...
 
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