Friday, September 27, 2013
Goose Creek residents should soon have more time to unload portable storage units. The change comes after Goose Creek City Council voted on Aug. 13 to amend the zoning ordinance to allow portable storage units, commonly PODS (Portable On Demand Storage), to stay at a residence for 30 days rather than 14 days.
The first reading of the motion passed unanimously.
“A military wife moving on her own may not have enough time to move over two weekends,” Goose Creek Planning Director Sarah Hanson said. “The new ordinance will allow PODS to stay for 30 consecutive days.”
During public comments citizen Joel Arenson, who also serves on the city Architectural Review Board, said PODS are not pleasing aesthetically.
“It’s not good for the image,” Arenson said. “I don’t think extending time for PODS to 30 days is in the best interest of the community.”
Goose Creek resident Mary Reilly supported the change.
“There are a lot of reasons people have those,” Reilly said. “If somebody has a fire or water damage it takes more than 30 days to get that together.
“There are some situations where we have to have more respect and empathy for our neighbors.”
“Almost no one knows you’re supposed to get a permit for a POD,” Hanson told The Gazette. “Only about five percent of the population knows about that. The POD company isn’t going to tell you.”
Permits cost $15.
Hanson said in some situations closing on a new home could not be complete on time and residents would need more days to load or unload their stored items.
Sometimes the PODS are used to store items if someone has flooring work done on their home, and Hanson said to expect a contractor to finish in 14 days in unrealistic.
“Looking at other municipalities, they give people 30 days,” Hanson said.
Another new stipulation to the ordinance is that they cannot be placed in a right of way or easement.
The amendments do not allow portable storage units to hold solid waste, construction debris, demolition debris, recyclables, business inventory, commercial goods, or goods for property other than that of where the unit is located.
“We don't want people running a retail business out of the back of their house,” Hanson said. “You can’t store clothes, shoes, hazardous materials or illegal items. This gives us the ability to remove the POD if they do any of that.
“If they don’t work with us, anybody who has a blatant violation can be cited. But we try to give ample opportunity to comply.”
Council was expected to vote on a second and final reading at its Sept. 10 meeting.