St. Charles City Council votes to regulate shipping container ho - KMOV.com

St. Charles City Council votes to regulate shipping container homes, bring back trolley

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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 city leaders are looking at potentially bringing back the trolley despite it once being deemed a waste of tax payer dollars (Credit: KMOV). St. Charles city leaders are looking at potentially bringing back the trolley despite it once being deemed a waste of tax payer dollars (Credit: KMOV).

ST. CHARLES (KMOV.com) - St. Charles City Council members took final action Tuesday on two issues News 4  has been tracking for the last year, including regulations on shipping container homes the return of the trolley to Main Street. 

First up, the council voted in favor of  amendments made to the Code of Ordinance to apply criteria to homes made out of shipping containers. A local couple built a home made from the recycled material, prompting concern from some neighbors and some city council members. 

The regulations say the homes can be built on property zoned for residential use. but the owner must obtain a conditional use permit. 

"Authority to approve a conditional use permit rests with the City Council.  In order to apply for a conditional use permit for a shipping container home, the home must meet all applicable provisions of the building code; it must be enclosed with vinyl, wood, cement board or brick siding; and it must have a pitched roof constructed of wood or metal," explained Beth Norviel, a spokesperson for the city. 

That means a home like the Smithey's would not be approved by these new regulations. Their home is exempt because they built it before any rules were in place. 

The second item on the agenda for final approval was the funding to bring back the trolley to Main Street. 

The city has allotted $225 000 in the budget for the trolley project. The city got rid of the trolley back in 2010 when officials deemed it a waste of taxpayer dollars. Ridership was low and it was costing nearly $15 per rider. The trolley is free to ride, but is paid for by the city. 

Mayor Sally Faith says St. Charles is much different than it was in 2010, tourism is booming and the trolley is needed to help lure conventions. 

“People who are staying in the hotels or here for the convention center, they need a way to get down to Main Street, come down have dinner,” said Faith in an interview from September.

The city hopes the trolley can be up an running by Spring 2017. 

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