Shipping containers were back on the agenda at Quesnel City Council last night, only this time the question was what to do with the ones that are already in residential areas.
Council had already decided not to allow any more, although Councillor Ron Paull wasn’t quite ready to give up the fight.
He felt too many people had ATV’s, snowmobiles, outboards and tools etc, and that shipping containers could simply be regulated…
“I think the containers could be properly vented, a permit issued with a container. I think most people would welcome the opp to have venting. I think containers could be allowed with extraordinary setbacks, could be suitably screened, painted, so i really do believe they could be made to fit into the environment. It could be posted to contain fuels and fertilizers.”
Tanya Turner, Quesnel’s Director of Development Services, noted however that there were issues with permitting when it comes to compliance and enforcement…
“It would be through the building bylaw and unfortunately our research has shown that that is a very grey area that we are looking at in terms of how we can establish it as a building when we are just doing so at this point.”
There were also concerns that there wasn’t enough staff to do it.
As for what to do with the approximately 30 existing containers, it was recommended that they be treated as lawful non-conforming.
Mayor Bob Simpson noted that the safety of firefighters, one of the reasons for opposing any more shipping containers in residential areas, would be something that the Fire Chief could monitor.
Sylvain Gauthier confirmed that he had the right to determine whether or not it was safe or not to fight a fire at a residence where one was located.
He added that they could fight it from a distance.
Councillor Ed Coleman noted that less than one percent of the population has shipping containers on residential properties while Councillor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg called this solution a good compromise….
“We’re not asking those that have them to be rid of them. I think it is a great compromise ,although some would like to see none, this is a compromise we can live with and still addresses the safety issues.”
Council gave the first two readings to the bylaw with Councillors Paull and Shushil Thapar opposed.
A public hearing has been scheduled for July 25th.