Steel shipping containers — often used for storage — being placed on properties in Eagle River are not regulated, but that will change after the Eagle River City Council adopted an ordinance at last week’s meeting.

A draft ordinance was previously reviewed by the Eagle River Plan Commission, with members having concerns over setback requirements in some zoning districts, how many containers could be on one property, can they be used for habitation and if they were taxable as personal property or real property.

Mayor Jeff Hyslop suggested the draft ordinance “needed to be more restrictive and could be modified later if needed.”

The ordinance, adopted by the City Council, specifies shipping containers are not to be used for human or animal habitation. Where the containers are allowed, properties are restricted to one container, therefore they cannot be stacked on top of each other. In addition, they must be painted a single color and have all advertising removed.

The shipping containers are not allowed in the folllowing zoning districts: single-family residential, single- and two-family residential, multiple-family residential, office residential and downtown commercial districts.

Shipping containers (one per property) are allowed in the following zoning districts provided they are painted a single color with all advertising removed and subject to existing accessory structure setbacks: highway commercial district, industrial district, park and recreation district, and government use district. 

Assistant City Administrator Robin Ginner told the council she contacted the city assessor and was told “shipping containers will be taxed as real property and not personal property” with an average value of around $3,000. 

While shipping containers usually come as a standard width and height, the council did not restrict their length.

Other business

In other business, the council:

— Approved an off-premise sign for King Quarry to be placed on the existing Shopko free-standing sign in the parking lot along Highway 45 North. The combined square footage of both signs will be 460 square feet, just under the 500-square-foot maximum.

—?Approved closing the parking spaces along Railroad Street north of Wall Street to allow businesses to place tables along the street.

— Approved borrowing $2.8 million from Great North Bank, with an interest rate of 1.63%. 

— Approved a contract with Chuck Hunter to design the roof project at city hall roof for $4,500.

— Approved the contract for Tamarack Street improvements with Musson Brothers for $87,324.

— Approved the sale of lot 4 in the Tamarack Business Park for $20,000 to Brian Peters.

— Approved spending $4,500 for interior and exterior lights at the golf course.

— Approved allowing 12 chickens and eight ducks on Steve Haugen’s 1.3-acre property, but restricted future fowl numbers to 12 based on 1,800 square feet per fowl.