OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee County commissioners have decided to reconsider the code that prohibits the use of shipping containers on private property.
At their Nov. 25 meeting, commissioners heard from several property owners who have been cited by code enforcement officers for having shipping containers on their property.
“To us, they’re not really eyesores. They are on the back of the property,” said one property owner. He said the shipping containers are heavier and stronger than the sheds that are allowed by code.
Jason Meyerson, who said he was only recently cited for a storage container that has been on his property for three years, said he heard the county was cracking down on them because people have been illegally using them for dwellings.
He suggested a program with annual inspections and a decal to ensure the shipping containers are being used for storage only, are within a fence and are placed where the container cannot be seen from the road.
Commission Chairman Terry Burroughs suggested the board send the matter back to planning and zoning staff “to find out if there is a way to model this.”
He said they could look at other counties to see if this is something allowed elsewhere with inspections. He suggested code enforcement stop writing new citations on shipping containers while the issue is under review.
“We can look around to other counties to see if there is a policy in place that would allow us to do this,” Burroughs said.
County Attorney Wade Vose noted the county is simply taking a pause on writing new citations on storage containers being used for storage only while they review the options.
While the county will review the use of shipping containers as storage, use of a shipping container as a dwelling is still illegal.
“Anyone who has one out there today that you are living in, you are going to be cited,” said Burroughs.