Look around the city, drive in any direction for a few blocks and you're likely to see a large metal shipping container. Sea cans have become very popular storage options as they're sturdy, normally water tight and can be affordable. In some cities, they're being used as shopping malls and overseas there are plans are to use them for a new sports stadium.
But in Moose Jaw, they're only allowed on a property for temporary storage. Over the last decade though, many property owners have taken advantage of a lack of enforcement options in the current city bylaws but that's about to change. City Council has approved a new section of the bylaw that will clarify when and how long a sea can will be allowed on a certain type of property.
"This new bylaw will allow us a mechanism to legalize these as actually buildings and provide regulations under our national building code to make them permanent buildings on these properties." said Michelle Sanson with Planning and Development, adding that most in the city are currently illegal.
Sanson explained that only commercial or industrial properties will be allowed to have these containers on them under the new bylaw and an owner would need to get a building permit followed by an inspection be allowed to keep it in use. The sea cans would not be allowed in residential areas unless for temporary storage of construction materials and even then, Sanson says there would be a very defined time frame.
Council approved the change to the bylaw Monday night but it will take some time for the official paperwork to be drawn up. So far there is no timeline for when the changes will come into play.