During Monday’s Marshall County Commissioner meeting, County Plan Director, Ty Adley presented a proposed zoning ordinance pertaining to shipping containers.  The same ordinance presented a few weeks ago. 

The commissioners had several questions and Adley was back with answers to their questions. 

The biggest question was if shipping containers already in place would be grandfathered in.  Adley said shipping containers already in place would have had to meet compliance and since there hasn’t been any ordinance to permit them, they would not be in compliance and therefore not eligible for grandfathering.

The Building Inspector was recently contacted about a shipping container house and Adley said the proposed ordinance would only permit them as cold storage.

Commissioner Kevin Overmyer clarified the shipping container issue saying this was not their issue but was brought to the table because a county department head, and property owner had a disagreement on them.

Commissioner Mike Burroughs said in the meeting, “I believe that storage containers are the same as an outdoor building.  That is still my contention and should be treated as such.  Anything that we have in our current ordinance that pertains to outdoor buildings also pertains to storage facilities.”

Marshall County Commissioner and Plan Commission member Stan Klotz said there are no limits on the number of accessory structures someone can have as long as they meet the setback requirements.  Klotz was also in favor of classifying shipping containers as assessor structures.

The County Plan Director said shipping containers would be added as a permitted use under assessor structures in the county’s ordinance. 

Commissioner Overmyer asked about those in existence now and Adley said, “So, if the ordinance is revised that’s presented today to strip out the conditions that are proposed to essentially just allow it by right as an accessory structure, anywhere you can have an accessory structure will allow shipping containers.” 

The County Commissioners were agreeable to allow shipping containers as assessor structures in the county ordinance.  They asked to amend the proposal and send it back to the Plan Commission adding shipping containers as a permitted use under accessory structures in the current zoning ordinance.

The proposed ordinance presented was turned down.

The change the commissioners asked for will be considered by the Plan Commission and sent back to the commissioners early next year for formal consideration and approval.