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Council blesses use of storage containers in downtown Kingman

Jim Hodges of Echo Storage Options of Golden Valley parked a 20-foot storage container outside City Hall in August for a Planning and Zoning Commission workshop on containers. Storage containers may continue to be used downtown after Tuesday’s council meeting.

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Jim Hodges of Echo Storage Options of Golden Valley parked a 20-foot storage container outside City Hall in August for a Planning and Zoning Commission workshop on containers. Storage containers may continue to be used downtown after Tuesday’s council meeting.

KINGMAN – The issue of permitting specific storage containers in downtown Kingman and guidelines of how those storage containers should be maintained has been a long ongoing discussion. The City Council just may have put the issue in the rearview mirror at Wednesday’s meeting at the Mohave County Administration Building.

Currently, city code does not allow accessory storage containers in the C-2 zoning district of downtown Kingman. The discussion to add a text amendment to the ordinance began in April of last year when the council initiated the long process.

With City Council’s start, the Planning and Zoning Commission held four public hearings and three public workshops over the following months in order to discover potential text amendments.

In April of this year, the Planning and Zoning Commission held a fifth public hearing and recommended to not allow storage container use in the C-2 zoning district by a vote of 4-2. This decision was based on the commission’s concern over aesthetics, allowing more containers in the city and enforcement of maintenance standards for the storage containers.

However, at a public hearing in May, the City Council voted 7-0 to direct the commission to look into text amendments to allow for storage containers to be used in the C-2 district. The council also asked the Planning and Zoning Commission to look into possible amendments to the ordinance to allow for a more apparent way of understanding the aesthetic requirements for storage containers within each zoning district.

At Wednesday’s City Council meeting, the Planning and Zoning Commission presented a number of proposed text changes to the code. The most notable amendments were:

• Storage containers will be permitted for accessory storage purposes in C-2.

• Instead of simply requiring an eight-foot fence be in place to obscure the view of a visible storage container, amendments would allow for the storage container to be modified to resemble the primary building more closely.

• Non-substantive changes proposed for clarification purposes.

City Council approved the ordinance as presented with a few changes: the removal of both amendments that refer to the “entertainment district,” thus allowing storage containers in that area; phrasing would be added to define “repurposing” of storage containers as electrical modification, refrigeration, etc.; an amendment would be added to take into account total square footage of storage containers of a parcel of land, rather than simply having just one container, (For example: having two 8X20s is the same as one 8X40).