There were no comments during the County Commissioner’s Public Hearing on the Planned Unit Development (PUD) for the shipping container residential development at 3919 North Michigan Road on Monday. 

County Plan Director Ty Adley presented the case and Thomas Landgriebe, the new owner of the property, attended to answer any questions.   The proposal is a gated, upscale residential development with 33 shipping container homes in an A-3 zoning district.  The development would be like an HOA or POA where the residents will own the home but not the land. 

On Monday the commissioners reviewed the primary plan for the PUD that came to them with a favorable recommendation from the Technical Review Committee (TRC) and Marshall County Plan Commission by a 5 to 3 vote with conditions.  The conditions include meeting the fire department hydrant regulations and turnaround space and that the stormwater utility be addressed and clarified.  The county’s planning staff recommended having any accessory structures and the clubhouse be addressed as internal conditional uses by Adventura ad the front setback be clarified as 60 feet from the Michigan Road right-of-way and 5 feet in the development from the edge of the sidewalk.  They also want the site plan to be updated to include the contours and the land use matrix to be updated to reflect associated conditional uses.  

Adley gave an overview of the project and said, “The proposed 33 homes would be made of a combination of shipping containers providing structural secure homes that will be signed off by an engineer/architect ensuring Indiana Residential Code is met.  The existing driveway will house a new water line and be regraded to make way for a brick road with 2 10’ drive lanes and 2 4’ sidewalks.  The gated entrance feature will add security but will also allow for emergency vehicle access in case of need.  The front of the development will provide open space as well as an area for a community garden.  To the rear of the homes, a community building will be located adjacent to the woods.  The woods will be reserved for recreational purposes.”

Mr. Landgriebe told the commissioners he conducted a pre-work- up with Farmers Insurance on the valuation of the homes and they came in at $385,000 each.  With 33 homes in the project that comes out to just under $13 million for just the home build.  He also discussed the building materials which came under scrutiny.  The Core-tin steel used to make shipping containers is designed to repair itself from corrosion.  The steel home could last nearly 200 years and the Sherwin-Williams paint they are going is expected to last 60 to 70 years before a reapplication is necessary.

The homes have a safety factor because the shipping container homes can withstand tornadoes and hurricanes.  Landgriebe said, “In weather-stricken areas where they have tornadoes or hurricanes, they actually make the shelters that you can go into to hide from a storm out of shipping containers.  They can handle tornadoes up to an F3 or F4.”

Commissioner Stan Klotz asked whether the development will be on septic or sewer and Mr. Landgriebe said the current septic has been checked by the state which does a quarterly inspection of the site. He also had it reinspected by a lilted contractor given to him by the county health department and it passed.

Klotz also asked about fire hydrants and the radius for fire trucks to be able to turn around in the cul-de-sac at the rear of the property and Thomas said the LaPaz fire chief asked for 3 hydrants in the development and provided the dimensions to be able to turn the fire truck around.     

Mr. Landgriebe said it will take about 3 years to complete the full residential development and he has hired someone to be onsite during the development and following completion.  This person will also be handling security along with multiple cameras that will assist.

Marshall County Commissioner Mike Burroughs motioned to pass the Planned Unit Development for 3919 North Michigan Road on the first reading.  Commissioner Klotz said, “To be honest, I’m struggling with this but I will second to approve on first reading and then we can address it more later.  I’m not a yes yet but I’m not going to stop it today.”  The ordinance passed on the first reading with 2 yes votes.  Commissioner Kevin Overmyer was absent from the meeting.