Council tables outdoor storage container code

FREEHOLD – An ordinance which seeks to regulate the use of portable outdoor storage units has been tabled by the Borough Council.

The ordinance had a public hearing at the council’s Feb. 19 meeting, but the members of the governing body tabled a vote on the new law after concerns were raised by a member of the public.

Frank Rizzo, who said his business provides outdoor storage containers, asked members of the governing body to postpone action on the ordinance.He said the way the law was written it would put him out of business.

The ordinance as written stated that portable containerized property storage facility “cannot have a height in excess of 7 feet, nor a length of more than 10 feet, nor a width of more than 8 feet.”

Rizzo said the majority of units he rents are 8 feet tall and 16 feet long. He said the ordinance as written restricts the use of large storage containers and said the enforcement of the law would “putme out of business.” He asked the council to allow the larger storage containers.

Borough Attorney Kerry Higgins said she would change the proposed ordinance to reflect the permitted use of the large storage unit. She said the permitted size of the storage unit that wasmentioned in the ordinance was taken from an ordinance that is used in surrounding towns.

The increase in the use of the outdoor storage containers was recently brought to the attention of the council by code enforcement officer Hank Stryker III.

Borough officials concluded that the use of the storage containersmight pose a hazard to the public health, safety and general welfare and the quality of life of residents.

The council’s response was an ordinance that would regulate the use of outdoor storage containers. A 90-day limit would be established as the time permitted for an outdoor storage container to remain on a property. The portable storage unit can only be used for the storage of personal property, furniture and household items. It is notmeant to be used as a permanent addition to a property.

The ordinance also addresses the use of outdoor construction debris containers, which are also allowed on property for 90 days, unless the dwelling is being constructed in which case the container cannot be on the property for more than 180 days.

The ordinance, if adopted by the council, will come under the enforcement powers of the zoning officer, the police department and the code enforcement office. Anyone found guilty of violating the ordinance will be subject to a fine not to exceed $2,000.

– Clare Marie Celano