Saturday, July 29, 2006

City to look at storage unit rules

Here's a wonderful idea to solve this problem. The company that supplies these containers can paint them with wonderful scenes from around the nation, which can blend into the landscape of the city of Springfield. The City Council will be happy so they can still continue to IGNORE the ordinance that they passed. The whiners that complain about the storage containers won't realize they are storage containers because they blend in with the landscape. The owner of the storage container company will have BEAUTIFUL containers which can have historic scenery painted on the sides or different places from around the country and (s)he can charge a little extra for the cost of the container beautification. All of this WITHOUT GOVERNMENT intervention, a proper Libertarian solution.

Permits to stop for six months, but staff say it will make little difference.

Jenny Fillmer

The Springfield City Council voted Monday to stop issuing permits for on-site storage containers for the next six months, so it can review regulation of the units.

City staff members say the vote doesn't really change anything, because nobody ever asked for a permit in the first place, leaving thousands of the containers, on-site storage trailers and temporary storage units in the city out of compliance.

Containers the size of the trailer portion of a tractor-trailer rig often are placed near businesses to store extra merchandise on site, especially while stockpiling for the holiday season.

The permit suspension forces storage container owners who had neglected to obtain permits to either continue operating illegally or stop renting out units in the city.

But Mayor Tom Carlson said the six-month suspension isn't intended to put anyone out of business."If they're getting away with it, they're going to continue getting away with it."

Councilman Gary Deaver said widespread disregard for the law was why he asked the council to review it.

"Six years ago the council passed a law, but (no unit owners) have gone through the process and been approved," said Deaver.

Based on a consultant's recommendation, the council during its six-month review of the law also will consider environmental and aesthetic issues related to the containers, as well as how they affect neighboring property values.

The suspension rattled Brenda Teeslink, owner of Springfield-based Mobile Storage Solutions. Her company rents containers to local retailers.

"I don't have a problem with a study being done, but to say we can't rent trailers for six months, I might as well shut my doors," said Teeslink.

"Why do we need to stop us doing business for 180 days if you're just trying to determine if there's a detriment to the land values?" asked Teeslink.

Councilwoman Mary Collette pointed out a provision in the ordinance allowing for written appeal in certain instances. But neither council members nor city staff offered Teeslink additional guidance for operating her business legally during the next six months.

However, city staff said, unless someone files a complaint about a particular container, the city probably won't do anything about them.

"I don't know that we'd be enforcing (the law), because it would be hard to keep up," said city planning director Ralph Rognstad. "We don't have inspectors looking at every property every day."

Make your VOTE count.
VOTE third party candidates and scare the bejesus out of the monopoly parties

Tom Martz
candidate 139th district

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