Container restriction gets put on the backburner

Council will leave shipping containers alone – for now.

The majority of councillors disagreed with city staff’s proposed bylaw to restrict the use of the containers to industrial-zoned properties only and send the issue to a second public hearing.

Coun. Larry Samson said he didn’t see the need to repeat the process.

“We already sat through one public hearing and I think it was heard loud and clear from the speakers that there doesn’t need to be changes to the bylaw,” Samson said.

City staff crafted a bylaw that, if approved, would have banned shipping containers from commercial and residential properties, except in the case of construction or a review by city hall.

The proposed bylaw was sent to a public hearing in July in which several business owners explained they use the containers as storage because they’re secure and affordable. Most said that taking away those containers would hurt their business.

Following the public hearing, council instructed staff to hold a public open house to get input from the community.

At that meeting, held in November at the Enterprise Centre, every person in attendance opposed the changes.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, councillors took that input to heart.

Coun. Andy Adams said city staff need to go back to the drawing board.

“I was opposed when this was first presented in 2009 and I’ll be opposed in its current form. We heard from the public loud and clear, Adams said. “I think it’s important to note that businesses that already have sea cans on their properties were done so in good faith and I think there needs to be some consideration into grandfathering,” Adams added.

Council defeated a motion by Kerr to abandon the shipping container bylaw but did approve a motion by Adams to have city staff craft options for dealing with the containers.

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