Building of house made of shipping containers draws opposition i - KMOV.com

Building of house made of shipping containers draws opposition in St. Charles

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A couple is building a house in St. Charles made out of shipping containers, but officials may change zoning laws that would make such homes illegal. Credit: KMOV A couple is building a house in St. Charles made out of shipping containers, but officials may change zoning laws that would make such homes illegal. Credit: KMOV
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    Tuesday, June 28 2016 11:05 PM EDT2016-06-29 03:05:07 GMT
    A couple is building a house in St. Charles made out of shipping containers, but officials may change zoning laws that would make such homes illegal. Credit: KMOVA couple is building a house in St. Charles made out of shipping containers, but officials may change zoning laws that would make such homes illegal. Credit: KMOV

    Zach Smithey and his wife Brie are building a home made out of shipping containers in St. Charles, but many neighbors and local officials do not like the idea

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    Zach Smithey and his wife Brie are building a home made out of shipping containers in St. Charles, but many neighbors and local officials do not like the idea

    More >

ST. CHARLES (KMOV.com) - The area’s very first container house is going up in St Charles, but its drawing opposition from neighbors and city leaders.

It’s a trend happening across the nation, homes built out of re-purposed shipping containers. Zach and Brie Smithey say they will be moving into their new home in August.

“When I was a little kid people call me Zach the Lego maniac, even back then I was an artist and creator and I loved Legos, so these are like adult Legos,” said Zach Smithey.

The Smithey’s have renovated several older homes but this is their first one from the ground up. They installed the eight shipping containers in May.

Costing about $1,600 each, the containers have traveled around the world and ended up in a shipping container yard in north St Louis before they found their way to the Smithey’s property in St Charles.

The eight containers will make up a two story house.

“It will be 3,120 square feet including the basement. Four bedrooms, two and a half bath, very open floor plan with the kitchen, living room, dining room all as one big space,” said Smithey.

And the cost of the project was what really drew the couple to the idea of re-purposing the old containers.

“Somewhere in the neighborhood of $125,000,” he explained.

The couple is shooting a TV show about the home so News 4 couldn’t show too much of the inside. They plan to have an open house for the public sometime in August when it’s finished.

In the meantime, the bright red shipping containers are getting a lot of looks from neighbors and drivers on Elm Street. It’s also caught the eye of St. Charles City Council who is voting soon to rework an ordinance that would ban future construction on these types of homes. If it passes, such would only be allowed in mobile home parks.

St. Charles City spokesperson Don Rothermich says the reason for the ordinance change was because at this time there is nothing on the books.

On June 27, the Planning and Zoning Commission voted against the city’s plan to ban this type of house, but it still is up to council to vote on the ordinance.

“I think it’s infringing on our rights as individuals and doing what we want with our property,” said Smithey. “Personally I think vinyl siding and asphalt shingles are ugly but I don’t think we should make an ordinance against them.”

You can see photos of the home by clicking here.

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