Fort Wayne making big moves for small container houses | WANE 15

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Fort Wayne making big moves for small container houses | WANE 15

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — In February 2023, the Allen County Department of Planning Services attended a field study in Detroit to study infill housing and container homes.

As Fort Wayne looked to implement the unique structures as a solution to developing narrow lots, one thing became apparent.

“After review, it was determined that none of the current housing type definitions in the zoning ordinance addressed container homes,” said Dave Schaab, senior planner with the Department of Planning Services.

And that’s why a large part of the 2023 technical amendment puts a major focus on clearly defining what a container home is.

“These are container homes that would be modified and they would be predesigned to be set on site as a finished project,” Schaab said.

The technical amendment was given a 7-1 do-pass recommendation, but what does it define as a “Container Home?”

According to Schaab, “A structure comprised in part or whole of one or more grade-A shipping containers that has been repurposed and designed for use as a single or two-family dwelling. A grade-A certified shipping container has documented characteristics that include being wind and watertight, having not been used to transport hazardous materials and retaining corner post integrity.”

Ultimately, the move could present a creative way for Fort Wayne to fill narrow lots.

“The idea of the container homes is to help create an opportunity to infill slender lots, lots where a normal stick frame house would not be able to fit on,” said 6th District Councilwoman Sharon Tucker. “An individual could purchase a slender lot, go before the BZA and get approval to use that lot for a container home build.”

City Council will vote on final approval of the change to the city code at a later date.

You can read the entirety of the ordinance on the City of Fort Wayne’s website.

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Fort Wayne making big moves for small container houses | WANE 15

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