County commissioners approved zoning standards for using cargo containers as storage units in unincorporated parts of Johnson County.
Dean Palos, county planner, said he hopes to share the county’s standards with Gardner and Edgerton to assist them in drafting their cargo container regulations.
“I hope we got it right, because we plan to talk to Gardner and Edgerton about using our models,” Palos told members of the county commission during a May 1 meeting.
There is a deficit of manufactured goods being shipped from North America overseas, and it is expensive to ship empty containers to Asia. Therefore, officials anticipate an influx of cargo containers as the Edgerton intermodal facility reaches full capacity.
The county’s regulations will manage the number, appearance, location and screening of cargo containers used as storage units.
Under the recently adopted guidelines, the owners of property in unincorporated Johnson County in rural, residential, planned rural and planned residential districts will be allowed to use cargo containers or hauling trailers as permanent storage, kind of like a shed.
The guidelines mandate that the cargo units can only be used on lots that are bigger than three acres or less than 10 acres, and the units must be screened from adjacent homes and roadways. The containers must be painted in earth tones.
Commissioner Steve Klika worried that the commission was adopting the guidelines without adequate notice to the public. He said the regulations were only made available a few days prior to the May 1 commission meeting.
“It’s going to take one or two of these issues and then folks start coming out of the woodwork and saying what’s happening,” Klika said.
Planners said residents were heavily involved in early discussions about the regulations. Paul Greeley, county planner, said planning commissioners were also involved in setting the cargo container standards.
“I am just making sure it doesn’t happen under the radar,” Klika said.
The commission unanimously agreed to adopt the proposed regulations.
The county commission will next meet at 9:30 a.m. on May 8 in the board hearing room in the county administration building in Olathe.