City of St. Charles plans to regulate shipping container homes - KMOV.com

City of St. Charles plans to regulate shipping container homes

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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
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

The St. Louis area's very first shipping container home is almost finished. The exterior is painted and they are nearly completion of the inside. 

Zach and Brie Smithey are building their two-story shipping container home along Elm Drive. News 4 first showed you around the house over the summer. 

The home caught the eye of the St. Charles City Council and it attempted to ban future construction of these types of houses except in mobile home parks. The council didn't have enough votes and planned to revisit the issue. 

On September 27, council members explored options on regulating these types of homes. 

Council member David Beckering brought up the discussion at the council's work session with four options drafted by Bruce Evans, the director of community development. 

"I'm not against shipping container homes," said Beckering. "But almost 100 percent of my residents I've heard from are unhappy [with it]."

Option one was to do nothing, the current ordinance does not prohibit or restrict container homes. Option two would only allow the homes on lots that are not part of a recorded subdivision. Option three would require a long list of conditions, including strict requirements for exterior appearance, something that is not done for traditional style homes. 

Finally the fourth option, which received the most support of council members, would require container homes to receiving a conditional use permit. 

The conditional use permit would mean the house plans would have to go before planning and zoning, neighbors would be notified and it would have to be approved by city council. 

It wouldn't ban them, but ensure they go through an extensive review. The city's legal department and community development director will take the council's wishes to see an ordinance requiring a conditional use permit and draft up wording for legislation. 

They plan to present the new ordinance to the council within the coming weeks. It would then need to be approved by planning and zoning and again approved by city council. 

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