The first two cases considered by the Marshall County Board of Zoning Appeal’s April meeting were for Robert Demis at 20993 8th Road in Plymouth in an agricultural zoning district. 

County Plan Director Ty Adley said the request is to allow a shipping container on the property as a workshop and sellable business.  He told them the case has been before the BZA in 2019 and again in early 2021.  It was tabled until the County Commissioners made their determination on how shipping containers would be handled.

Adley told members of the BZA that in early 2022 the zoning ordinance was amended to allow shipping containers in an agricultural zone with conditions.  He said the main condition of interest, in this case, is that shipping containers are to be only used for cold storage.  While modifications can be made they must be certified by certain professionals to make certain modifications don’t negatively impact the integrity of the container.       

This 8-foot by 40-foot shipping container is tucked between a garage and fence which sits on or near the property line.

Adley told members the BZA reviews the case and makes the final determination.  The Technical Review Committee and staff recommended approval to the BZA with the condition that engineered plans be provided and approved for the addition of doors. 

After nearly 30 minutes of back-and-forth discussion, the County BZA voted 3 to 2 to allow the shipping container as a workshop with a structural engineer’s drawings and details to install the additional doors or it can be used as cold storage.

The second case for Mr. Demis is the request for variances to reduce the setback requirements to allow the shipping container to remain where it’s been located for over 3 years. 

Variance for setback reduction for the front yard from 50 to 27 feet, a rear yard setback from 20 feet to 13 feet, and a side yard setback from 15 feet to 2 feet.

The staff and Technical Review Committee recommended approval of the front and rear yard setbacks and modify the side yard setback from the requested 2 feet to 5 feet.   The BZA approved the recommendation by a 3 to 2 vote.  Mr. Demis must move the shipping container 3 feet further away from the fence.