Town Council Updates By-laws to Include Shipping/Cargo Containers

Media Release (October 22, 2019) The availability of low cost, re-purposed shipping/cargo containers to the general public has led to an increase of containers appearing throughout Fort Erie’s residential, commercial and industrial areas. For almost two years, Town Council and staff have investigated the optimal approach to addressing the use of shipping/cargo containers in Fort Erie.

“The role re-purposed shipping containers play in our community differs based on the needs of the owner and the location of the shipping container. If re-purposed shipping containers are not properly managed through Town by-laws and site plan controls, we are exposing our community and Town to some potentially harmful and unintended consequences,” said Mayor Wayne Redekop.

During yesterday’s Council meeting, Town Council approved changes to the Town’s zoning by-law to address issues associated with the conversion of these units such as safety (e.g. contaminants, ventilation, etc.) and integration into non-industrial areas (e.g. residential, commercial etc.) by setting out specific setback and locational provisions as well as requiring the submission of a site plan application including drawings such as site layout and building design. In addition, Town Council approved where and how the use of shipping/cargo containers may be used on a temporary basis within the Town.

The Town’s fees and charges by-law was also updated to include a site plan fee of $747 for all converted shipping/cargo containers. However, the fee will exclude shipping/cargo containers for accessory residential and commercial uses as long as the applicant picks one of the Town’s pre-approved design options. Any fees relating to zoning by-law amendments, minor variances and/or site plan applications required to permit existing shipping/cargo containers on commercial properties will be waived until December 31, 2019.

A copy of PDS-45-2019 can be found on the Town’s website. For more information regarding shipping/cargo containers in Fort Erie, please contact Kira Dolch, associate director, planning and development services, at or 905-871-1600, ext. 2502.

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