Marshall County Plan Director, Ty Adley presented the County Commissioners an ordinance amendment Monday concerning the regulation of shipping containers.

Adley told the commissioners the amendment would allow shipping containers as accessory structures in certain zoning areas in the county including Agriculture 1, Commercial 1, Commercial 2, Industrial 1 and Industrial 2.

The proposal would allow one shipping container per parcel although it must be painted the same color as adjacent structures and kept in good repair.   Adley said a parcel of 5-acres or larger could have 2 shipping containers, but they are only for cold storage. 

County Commissioner Stan Klotz had some concern about the placement of shipping containers on properties because the proposed amendment would allow them in front yards.  He also asked if current shipping containers would be grandfathered in. Commissioner Kevin Overmyer said there are some locations in the county that have more than two shipping containers on the property. He too asked it they would be grandfathered or if the ordinance would only apply to new shipping containers being brought into the county. 

Adley said grandfathering would be up for debate because it would need to be determined if shipping containers were permitted prior to the ordinance amendment.

The commissioners opened the public hearing on the ordinance.  John Grolich, President of the Marshall County Firefighters Association questioned the seven shipping containers at the Marshall County Jail that are used for training purposes. It was noted that those are within the city limits and wouldn’t be impacted by the county ordinance.  He asked for an exception in the ordinance so they wouldn’t have to jump through hoops. 

County Building Commissioner Steve Howard told the commissioners he was questioned about a shipping container home recently.  Howard wondered how that would comply with the ordinance amendment. 

The commissioners approve on first reading the ordinance.  Prior to second and third reading the commissioners want more information on grandfathering, container homes, location and exemptions for other fire department for training towers.