Given the limited village proper, Montrose council is seeking to ban the siting of large shipping containers – commonly called ‘sea cans’ – on land throughout the municipality.
While there haven’t been any complaints thus far, Mayor Mike Walsh says council wants to stay ahead of the curve because the storage units are popping up in communities across the province.
“I suppose if people have acreage that’s one thing, but there’s no acreage here, we are a small community,” he told the Trail Times. “And the look of them is terrible … so this is just getting a step ahead of it and being proactive, instead of someone putting one in and then we have to deal with it.”
After consulting with the fire department, Walsh learned the containers can pose a risk to the public.
“It’s very dangerous because if there is ever a fire in one, it’s like a potential bomb,” he explained “Depending what’s in there.”
Before the sea-can prohibition is written into the books via the village’s zoning bylaw, a public hearing must be held to give residents a chance to have their say.
That hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 6 at 6:45 p.m. in council chambers, located in the municipal office building on 11th Avenue.
Montrose citizens who believe their interest in property may be affected by this proposed bylaw change will have the opportunity to be heard by council that night, or they can present written submissions.
As well, written submissions not presented at the public hearing must be sent to the Montrose Village Office before 4:30 p.m. Aug. 6.
There is one exception to this proposed new rule, however. Residents can seek a permit from the village for temporary-use.
“If someone is building a house and they need a sea can to put their equipment in, that’s one thing,” said Walsh. “But if they leave it there, then that’s when we are going to have problems.”