P&Z remains uncertain about cargo containers

The Planning and Zoning Commission has yet to resolve the issue of cargo containers being used for storage in residentially-zoned districts, and is set to hold a work session on the issue. (Photo by Travis Rains/Daily Miner)

The Planning and Zoning Commission has yet to resolve the issue of cargo containers being used for storage in residentially-zoned districts, and is set to hold a work session on the issue. (Photo by Travis Rains/Daily Miner)

KINGMAN – The Planning and Zoning Commission made progress discussing cargo container allowances for storage purposes in residential areas at its meeting Aug. 14, but has yet to come to a final decision and opted to hold a work session to hammer out additional details.

Cargo containers are currently permitted for storage only in commercial zoning districts but may be used as building material in all zoning districts. If used as building material, a building permit must be obtained and the containers have to meet the appearance criteria of the district.

Staff provided commissioners with three options for the future of cargo containers which came from discussion and public comment. Option 1 would allow cargo containers to be used for storage in rural residential zoning districts. Option 2 would permit them in rural residential and R-1-40 zoning districts in areas annexed prior to 1989. Option 3 would keep cargo container allowances as they are now.

One community member wanted to know why cargo containers would be limited to rural residential or R-1-40 because he was interested in having them in R-MH-6 districts.

“What we’re trying to potentially arrive at is starting slowly on allowing them,” said Commissioner Terry Hunsicker. “And make sure that we don’t make a bad decision on the subject and that we’re careful and cautious on how this potentially gets rolled out if this moves forward.”

Chair Gary Fredrickson said he’s researched alongside City staff and finds Option 3, not changing cargo container allowances, to be the best option. He believes people in the community wouldn’t appreciate staring at a large container while trying to enjoy a barbeque.

“We’re not saying we won’t allowing containers to be in the City, but it would be done as a building material now,” he said. “Someone could put in a container, but in my opinion you would have to use it as a building material.”

Commissioner Laurie DeVries agreed with Fredrickson.

“I think when you have storage containers in residential areas that are up above the block walls already existing, it does block the view of the homeowners,” DeVries said.

However, Hunsicker saw valid arguments on both sides of the issue and Commissioner Scott McCoy supports expanding cargo container allowances. He said it makes no sense allowing containers as building material but not for storage.

“To me, logic would dictate that if you own a larger parcel of property, an acre or more, that typically you have animals and you have a lot of stuff that you should be able to lock up,” McCoy said. “And a metal storage container is probably the best choice to protect your property.”

“I think we’re going to have a difference of opinion on what we want to do with this allowance because some people want Kingman to go one direction and they do care about esthetics,” said Commissioner Elizabeth Goss. “And while some people might not care about esthetics, there are a lot of people who do.”