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Regional board looking at regulating shipping container use in South Okanagan, Similkameen

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is looking at bringing in regulations and restrictions for the use of shipping containers.
June 01, 2017 - 6:30 PM

PENTICTON - People in the South Okanagan and Similkameen may be forced to deal with regional district regulations governing placement and use of shipping containers in the near future.

The regional district board has concerns about the containers' aesthetics and asked staff today, June 1, to do some research on regulations with an eye to adopting some at a future date.

Regional District planning supervisor Chris Garrish says they currently interpret shipping containers as accessory structures, allowed within a zone under the same conditions and rules as other buildings in that category. 

Garrish says the board it might want to look at regulations around things like aesthetic considerations, safety concerns and building permit implications. He there haven'g been too many complaints regarding shipping containers, or sea cans.

Osoyoos director Sue McKortoff says she favours regulations.

“I believe in the Town of Osoyoos, we don’t allow them, unless, for a very short time someone is building and they need one…" McKortoff says. "I think they’re a terrible eyesore. They drive my blood pressure up every time I see one."

Oliver rural director Terry Schafer said sea cans were commonly used in his area for things like pesticide storage, noting the containers were a secure way to store such materials. Cawston director George Bush says the containers are useful, but also felt restrictions were needed.

“We definitely need restrictions even in the agricultural zones, not only in the Okanagan, but the Similkameen as well. Not restrictions meaning we can’t use them, but we definitely need some restrictions,” he says.

Chief administrative officer Bill Newell says containers under 100 square feet would have regulations similar to sheds of that size, while bigger containers would then need to comply with building code regulations.

“Most of these things would be over 100 square feet, I would think,” he says.


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