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Eagle River City Council Adopts Shipping Containers Regulations


Shipping containers being brought into Eagle River appear not to have any regulations but that will change after the city council adopted specifications last week where they will be, and not be, allowed.

A draft ordinance was reviewed previously by the city plan commission with concerns over lack of setback requirements is some zoning districts, how many could be on one property, used for habitation, and if they were taxable as personal property or real property.

Mayor Jeff Hyslop felt the draft ordinance “needed to be more restrictive and could be modified later if needed.”

The adopted ordinance by the city council specified shipping containers are not to be used for human or animal habitation and where allowed are restricted to one container therefore cannot be stacked on top of each other. In addition, where allowed they must be painted a single color and have all advertising removed.

In the following zoning districts shipping containers are not allowed: single family residential, single and two family residential, multiple family residential, office residential, and downtown commercial districts.

In the following zoning districts one shipping container is allowed provided they are painted a single color with all advertising removed and subject to existing accessory structure setbacks: highway commercial districts, industrial district, park & recreation district, and government use district. A conditional grant could allow one container also painted a single color and subject to accessory structure setbacks.

Assistant city administrator Robin Ginner told the council she contacted the city assessor and was told “shipping containers will be taxed as real property and not personal property” with an average value of around $3,000.

While shipping containers usually come as a standard width and height, the council did not restrict their length.

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