Some residents are “abusing the system” when it comes to using shipping containers on their property for storage, says one city councillor.
At Tuesday’s council meeting, Coun. Larry Samson acknowledged that the city does have a problem when it comes to a few select people using the containers and in the process, introducing an eyesore to their neighbourhood.
“Unfortunately, there’s a few people that abuse the system and will have one or two cans sitting on their property and they wreck it for everybody,” Samson said. “Driving along the Island Highway, there’s an ocean-view property right by Rotary Park and there’s a large sea can sitting there. It’s been there for I don’t know how long and I do think people have the right to enjoy their properties.”
Samson was speaking to a petition presented to council by a group of 32 Campbellton residents who have taken issue with a neighbour who has parked a large shipping container on his property.
That prompted the residents to request that council ban the use of all shipping containers on residential property except for temporary use of up to three months during renovation work.
After receiving the petition, Samson made a motion to have city staff and the city’s two commissions have a look at the use of shipping containers and a possible restriction.
Coun. Ron Kerr, however, said he couldn’t support such a move.
“I think it’s an overreaction to a problem that I don’t think exists out there,” Kerr said. “We do have bylaws that cover unsightly premises that can deal with it and I think that’s the more appropriate way to deal with this one.”
This isn’t the first time that the use of shipping containers has caused a stir in the community.
In 2013, the city looked at banning the use of such containers on both residential and commercial properties. As Samson, noted, “there was a large outcry, especially from the commercial businesses in town that tend to use these as short term storage.”
But, he added, people seemed to agree that their use should be within reason.
“There was also consensus, I think, at that time that there should be some boundaries put in place for residential,” Samson said.
To that end, Samson suggested that staff, in coming back with a report on the use of the containers, go back and dig up the reports done by city staff four years ago. Council, in the end, approved Samson’s directive of referring the issue to staff and the two commissions for a report back to council. Coun. Kerr was the lone councillor opposed.