Huntington Issues Ordinance Banning Shipping Container Homes

Turning shipping containers into homes has become an increasingly popular endeavor in recent years, but it seems that there are not many building regulations for shipping container homes yet. The city council in Huntington, West Virginia has issued an ordinance to change that though.

The city's Planning and Zoning office will be developing regulations to establish how shipping containers can be used in residential areas. Until that is decided, the Council announced Tuesday that bars the used of shipping containers as structures in the residential districts of the city.

In the meantime, shipping containers are still permitted to be built into structures for businesses or industrial offices in other districts in the city. The ordinance has set standards for how containers can be used for storage for businesses and construction, and for people who use a shipping container moving service for their homes.

The ordinance will allow people to put a container in front of their house for no more than 30 days, and only twice per year at most.

City Planner Shae Strait said that after the Planning and Zoning office received multiple phone calls from people who wanted to use shipping containers, the need for the ordinance arose.

"We did want to build office buildings out of them, or industrial offices. Those things would be fine," Strait said. "However, it was chosen to regulate them in such a way as to not be permitted as residential units, residential structures or to be used in residential districts as permanent structures."

Council Chairman Mark Bates expressed concern that this ordinance banning containers as houses may be difficult to reverse later.

Only time will tell what the future of shipping container homes is in Huntington and if this ordinance will be reversed.

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Author: Auz Burger