Sea cans: the public will have its say

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Proposed new regulations for storage sea cans in residential areas in hamlets have been presented by Big Lakes County after some concern and opposition.

At its regular meeting Nov. 29, council gave first reading to the proposed changes to the land-use bylaw to update the uses of sea cans in residential areas.

Industrial structures such as sea can (shipping container) units and similar storage containers may be approved as an accessory building.

Under the bylaw, the county proposes that sea cans be limited to 20 feet long, although they are also designed in lengths of 40 and 53 feet.

That raised some issues with council members.

I have an issue with the length,” Prairie Echo – Salt Prairie Councillor Dave Marx says.

If someone has a larger lot, why can’t they have a longer sea can?”

That minimum length has been proposed to maintain consistency in the county, says Pat Olansky, director of planning and development.

She noted that if the minimum length is approved, anyone with a longer permitted sea can would be grandfathered.

Council also set a public hearing for Jan. 10 at 1:30 p.m.

Moving forward, the county proposes that:

– A sea can shall be aesthetically compatible to the main residential structure and the surrounding neighbourhood.

– A sea can shall be located on the side or rear of the property and not permanently fixed to the ground.

– One sea can will be allowed on a lot less than one half acre.

– A sea can shall be suitably screened from public view to the satisfaction of the development authority.

– Sea cans cannot be stacked on top of each other.

– No human or animals will be allowed to occupy the inside.

– A temporary permit to place a sea can on a residential lot may be permitted at the discretion of the development authority for a period of six months.

A survey was conducted in September by the county when 108 of 398 questionnaires were returned as 82 voted in favour of sea cans and 24 opposed, while two indicated otherwise.

The outcome was that the majority of hamlet residents who responded felt that sea cans on residential lots in hamlets is acceptable,” says a report from Pat Olansky, director of planning and development.

Concerns were introduced at a council meeting April 26 by Joussard Councillor Ed Podollan, who later was unseated in the municipal elections Oct. 16.

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