South River council is modifying a proposed bylaw to oversee the use of shipping containers in the municipality by exempting how they are used in the industrial and commercial sectors. The original draft version of the bylaw was to apply to the industrial and commercial areas in addition to the residential and downtown commercial sectors. However, Clerk Administrator Don McArthur says after hearing concerns about how the bylaw would affect the industrial and commercial businesses, council decided to maintain the status quo in those areas. McArthur says unlike the residential and downtown commercial sectors, where the containers will be banned, there was no intent by the municipality to ban the structures in the commercial and industrial zones. But the way the bylaw was worded, these two areas were facing further restrictions with property setbacks involving the containers and also on how they could be used. After hearing from the business people in the affected zones, “it became obvious the rules we already had in place dealt with the issues for those areas,” McArthur said. “So it wasn't necessary to add more rules because the zoning bylaw already covered things like setbacks from property lines and how many (shipping containers) you can have on your land.” McArthur believes the municipality has dealt with the business concerns and no further revisions or modifications are expected to be added to the proposed bylaw. Although the proposed bylaw will not apply to or affect the commercial or industrial areas, it will still prohibit the use of shipping containers in the downtown commercial zones and residential component of the community. With staff working on the revisions, McArthur expects the final draft to come back to council at its July 26 meeting for a vote and, if it's approved, the bylaw would take effect the same day. No other changes are expected with the revised bylaw. This means people with the shipping containers on their properties before the bylaw takes effect will be grandfathered and won't have to give them up.
Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Bay Nugget