During the February meeting of the Marshall County Board of Zoning Appeals, Robert Demis of 20993 8th Road in West Township requested the use of a shipping container to be occupied as a saleable business.
This same motion was before the BZA in 2019 to use the existing shipping container as a workshop. County Plan Director Ty Adley said the case is currently cited as a violation.
Mr. Demis is an inventor and used the container as a workshop and storage. He is now remodeling the container to sell as a portable workshop.
The TRC and staff recommended denial of the request.
Mr. Demis contends that the shipping containers are not illegal to use in Marshall County and he shouldn’t be forced to remove it.
He is building work-station inside the shop so it really isn’t his workshop, it’s his invention. When he gets a buyer the whole thing will so. Demis said the county shut him down in 2019 after he purchased service doors to install so there was a second entrance for safety.
Demis said, “All I need for this project, is finish the project and get it sold without the county telling me I can’t work inside it.” He said I didn’t know I needed a permit for a temporary building.
While the shipping container sits too close to the property line and would need a variance, his request for that variance was not heard in 2019.
While there were no comments from the public during the public hearing, it was noted that a neighbor turned in the violation and a letter opposing the shipping container was read.
Following further discussion, it was noted that the County Commissioners denied the Plan Commission’s amendment to restrict shipping containers in the county. The plan director anticipates amending the ordinance to spell out if shipping containers are a permitted use in the county.
The Marshall County Board of Zoning Appeals motioned to pause the pursuit of the violation for 6 months giving the Plan Commission and Commissioners can come up with regulations for the use of shipping containers in the county.