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City to host storage container forum Monday

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The city of Springfield Planning Department is hosting a public forum Monday night about the ongoing efforts to create an acceptable ordinance about storage trailers and containers.

The meeting, set for 6:30 p.m. in City Council chambers in Historic City Hall, will include representatives from planning, Building Development Services and the city Fire Department taking input from the public on a set of proposed amendments to city zoning ordinance and fire code related to storage containers.

According to past Springfield Business Journal coverage, storage containers have been an issue since 2000, when city staff first noticed that some companies were employing them on property not zoned properly, as the city zoning ordinance does not allow outdoor storage on property zoned for general retail use.

At that point, the city created a law limiting businesses to one container per 10,000 square feet of building space for temporary use or one per 5,000 square feet for permanent containers.

The issue came up again in 2006, when council requested a review of the law to make sure it was being followed. Staff then proposed requiring permits for all on-site storage and limiting temporary containers to 60 days.

The new changes, available to view at the city Web site, would remove those limits subject to other safety regulations. According to a city news release, several departments have been working to amend the zoning ordinance to better fit the current use of these containers, which business owners have said are used for storage of everything from excess merchandise to construction materials and waste.

"The new proposal provides much more flexibility for the use of storage trailers and containers and does not require a permit," Director of Planning Ralph Rognstad said in the release. "Restrictions are included to address fire safety and protect adjoining properties from adverse impacts."[[In-content Ad]]

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