Thursday, September 28, 2006

Oak Lodge Community Council notes 1 of 3

(Arrived at 7:04 PM after meeting started, due to ARES radio testing network session at 7:00 PM.)

John Borge, Principal Planner from County Transportation and Development Planning Division, was discussing the new social trend of using shipping containers for uses other than shipping. He admits the county did not anticipate the proliferation of shipping containers (aka PODS). They are not built, not fastened to the ground, so to regulate their use, the county need to describe them and then list, in each section, whether containers are allowed or denied. Design review process will discuss type of materials and construction method, but rarely describes where materials may be stored. Containers are showing up in farmland for storage. We'll proably have to get after them at some point.

Bartley: Customized JMICs (Joint Modular Intermodal Containers) are used in USN experimental littoral ship designs as living space.

Jerry Foy: Containers are used all the time in commercial areas. Containers are specifically allowed in C-3 such as FM, Lowe's, Meyer and Frank, to store goods on property exterior of uilding. Have seen them unloaded. Stacking six units high is pretty obnoxious. Has no plumbing, ventilation, electric, sanitary, so should not allow living in them,

Dick: Are they included in allowed storage space in existing ordinance?

Margaret Pritcherd: Have seen containers parked for several days even in blue tag areas. They're using space dedicated for pulic parking. also seen one right up against property line in residential area.

John: Also a chronic problem with other businesses using mandated parking to store inventory.

Don't know if shipping containers can they be placed on private property and used for storage with no special requirement, and there is no clear answer to that. Depends as to whether or not you classify them as a structure. Seems structure standards for sheds, garages should be applied to objects as big as a shed. There is no permit, no proces at present, not in a position to regulate them. At some point will have to enforce something and end up in front of a hearing officer. If we are clever enough and have resources, will modify existing ordinance.

Chuck: Why?

John: If we add to ordinance, will have to enforce it. Many things not in ordinance we can enforce as well (permanently parked motor home used as residence). Residential uses are in top tier of enforcement. We deal in many grey areas, even though ordinances seem to be in black and white.

Catherine Blosser: This is starting to be an issue, why not be proactive? Why not get ahead of the issue?

John: We develop work plans yearly, contact CPOs and assemble wish list, including these types of things we should do to get ahead of these issues.. Wish list at present is 40+ items and goes back several years. M37 consumes staf ftime, all we can do to process 1100-1500 normal land use plus 500+ M37 apps.

Bartley: Could independent development funds, perhaps a grant, permit CPOs or other NGOs to develop and propose an ordinance, which would be researched to survive legal challenge, before submission, coordinating with zoning & development?
John: (In addition to legal and research expenses) it would cost 18-25 kilobucks to notify all who might be involved. Tremendously expensive to mail notices to all property owners of modification to property rights, required since 1998. That expense holds us back because we have finite resources. A grant would have to be very specific to show achievment and awkward to do it that way, don't think grants are a good solution.

Jerry Foy: BOMA, ICSE, and the Retail Task Force groups get involved to see how changes would affect them; if opposed, will spend against; if in favor, will spend in favor, Big, well funded groups and effective.

Thelma: Why are mobile home relocation issues moved from Item E under Development Standards, to prohibited and preexisting uses?
John - Moving to prohibited uses could make sense but I have not seen the change (until now). Have had in county comprehensive plan since the 80s.


No comments: