Campbell River city staff not backing down on container ban

City planner said in a report that far more people dislike the shipping containers than it may appear

The great shipping container debate has returned to city hall.

City staff were recommending council, at its Tuesday meeting, proceed with restricting the use of shipping containers to industrial-zoned properties only and host a second public hearing.

Chris Osborne, city planner, said in a report to council that far more people dislike the shipping containers than it may appear.

“It is not unexpected that those most affected by the proposed bylaw would not be in favour of it and hence encourage council to proceed no further,” Osborne wrote in his report. “To place feedback to date in context, in a community of 32,000 people and over 2,000 businesses, approximately 25 have voiced opposition to the bylaw; nearly all of whom have indicated that they use shipping containers in some capacity.”

Osborne noted that in contrast, the city’s two commissions, which are made up of members of the public and are designed by council to gather input from the broader community, are both recommending council proceed with the bylaw. Osborne said the bylaw was drafted in response to “numerous complaints” received from the public that the shipping containers are eyesores.

The city is trying to control the problem by restricting their use to just industrial sites and banning them from industrial and residential properties unless they are being used as temporary storage on building sites. Osborne said applications to use containers would also be looked at on a case by case basis.

But business owners who use them for storage purposes say it will hurt their business because they will be forced to build expensive, timely additions which many can’t afford.  Those owners, many of whom operate in the Campellton area, relayed that message to Osborne at a public meeting Nov. 13. That meeting followed a July public hearing on restricting shipping containers which saw at least 10 people voice their opposition to the proposed bylaw and one speak in favour. That prompted council to hold off on adopting the bylaw until first consulting with the city’s business community – the majority of shipping container users. That consultation came in the form of November’s public meeting at the Enterprise Centre across from city hall.

At that meeting, business owners again voiced their frustration and concern, but Osborne questioned how representative their feelings are of the entire community.

“It is important to note that most attendees represented interests focused in Campbellton rather than the broader community,” Osborne wrote. “Both functionally and geographically, attendance therefore represented only a narrow section of the community with a particular business-oriented focus.”

Osborne also pointed out the use of shipping containers runs contrary to the goals of the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association which is working to beautify that end of town.

“Clearly, regulation of shipping containers represents only one component of overall beautification, but it would be part of a pattern of incremental changes and initiatives which together will add up to a significant change for the better,” Osborne said. “While many present at the meeting agreed that if containers were used, they should be kept in good condition and painted to match existing buildings, there was little to no support for the regulation that would actually achieve those ends.”

City staff were recommending council hold a second public hearing so that council can give third reading to the bylaw and move forward. Council was expected to make a decision during Tuesday’s council meeting after the Mirror went to press.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

The volunteers at the Campbell River Seniors’ Centre have been waiting seven months to welcome people back to the facility, and are happy to have all the necessary safety precautions in place to do so, including a sign-in booth at the entrance for contact tracing requirements. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbel River Mirror
Campbell River Seniors’ Centre re-opens after seven months of COVID closure

‘If we close it again, it’s possible it won’t ever re-open, and the community needs this facility’

Another modular unit is lifted into place on the second floor of the new supportive housing complex being built at 580 Dogwood Street on Thursday this past week. Photo by Cleo Corbett/City of Campbell River
Campbell River’s newest supportive housing facility rises on Dogwood Street

Pre-fab modular construction means the building can go on the foundation in under five days

(Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay)
QUIZ: A celebration of colour

Fall in British Columbia is a time to enjoy a spectrum of vivid colours

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

Most Read