Rocky View County (RVC) is looking at possibly adding rules when it comes to having shipping containers (sea cans or sea Containers) on residents' properties.

To ensure fairness and consistency for all residents, the County is contemplating amendments to the Land Use Bylaw. These changes aim to establish clearer guidelines regarding the use of shipping containers within Rocky View County.

Here are some regulations the county is considering:

  • The size of the land parcel (acres) necessary to allow for the use of shipping containers.
  • The number of shipping containers permitted on a parcel of land.
  • The requirement to complement other buildings in exterior material, colour, and appearance.
  • Requirements for the condition of shipping containers.

From April 23 until May 14, the county held a public engagement session to garner how RVC residents feel about the possible changes. All comments from the community will be taken into account in addition to the following:

  • The effectiveness of the new rules and regulations.
  • The flexibility of the new rules and regulations.
  • Existing resources and future requirements.

"Shipping containers are used in the county, by landowners as a storage option, we find that they are used in many different contexts and different environments. The county is looking at clearer ways and greater rules and regulations to be able to inform where and how these shipping containers can be used and to provide the option for landowners and residents as well as to be able to mitigate any potential impacts on the surrounding adjacent neighbours," stated Justin Rebello, the Supervisor of planning and development for RVC.

When asked if there was any reason that sparked the idea of possibly adding in more rules, Rebello stated it was just because these containers are not in the land use bylaw.

"It is looked at as part of an accessory building, so we are looking for more clear rules and regulations that would guide this type of development."

Recently, sea cans have been used to create homes, Rebello stated that this could be an option, but it would have to pass an inspection.

"The container would have to meet all the building code requirements because it would be converted to a dwelling unit that would have occupancy."

Currently, the county is reviewing all the public engagement. Bylaw Amendments for shipping containers are currently scheduled to be presented to the RVC council at a public hearing on June 25.

Rebello finished off by saying the county is always looking to create more certainty and clarity with their developments.

"We want to ensure if and when people want shipping containers, that they have a very clear idea of what the requirements and regulations are."

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