La Salle council talks about allowing container homes within city limits

Council decides to send the matter to Planning Commission & Zoning Board

La Salle City Hall

La Salle residents who are considering buying a container home may have to store it outside city limits, as the City Council voted Tuesday to move the discussion to planning and zoning.

Mayor Jeff Grove said that he requested discussion and potential action on container homes be placed on Tuesday’s agenda so the council could “get ahead” of it.

“We see these cargo containers now becoming a situation where people are making living spaces out of them,” he said. “I just don’t know if that’s what we want as far as livability in the city.”

A container home is a residence made from one or more shipping containers.

Alderman Jordan Crane said there are other communities that already have an ordinance against container homes.

“I’m just curious, are people doing this as their primary residence or as an airbnbs or a combination?” Alderman Joe Jeppson said.

Grove said that he’s heard of a situation in which the parents have a home in front, and their recent college graduates have two small container homes.

Alderman Bob Thompson said the council should keep an open mind on the homes because it depends on how they are done.

“I looked into it at length for one of my daughters who considered buying property in the city of La Salle, and we discussed that,” he said. “They can be quite beautiful and better made then some of the homes that we have in town.”

Thompson said it would be like any other property and referenced the city’s building inspectors and engineers.

“If someone wants to invest $300,000 into a container home that’s absolutely gorgeous,” he said, “I don’t see that as an issue.”

After further discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of container homes, Crane made a motion to deny container homes in the city of La Salle.

Attorney James McPhedran said the council should send it to planning and zoning.

“From a legal standpoint, we should study it more before we agree to do it or not to do it,” McPhedran said.

The council unanimously voted to send it to the Planning Commission & Zoning Board.

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