Shipping Container Regulations

The Town of Coaldale Council approved new regulations for shipping containers at their regular meeting on December 11, 2017. At the same meeting it was decided that the enforcement of shipping containers in the community be deferred to April 30, 2018.

New regulations pertaining to shipping containers come into effect on May 1, 2018. In addition to new containers that are proposed to be placed on properties in Coaldale, all shipping containers that were in the community prior to May 1, 2018, will be required to meet the new regulations.

What is a Shipping Container?

The town’s Land Use Bylaw defines a shipping container as:

“Any container that was or could be used for transport of goods by means of rail, truck, or by sea. These containers are rectangular in shape and are generally made of metal.”

Where is a Shipping Container Allowed?

  • Temporary shipping containers are allowed in all land use districts, without a development permit, for a single period of no more than 14 days in one calendar year.
  • Temporary shipping containers are allowed for up to 90 days in all land use districts if approved by way of a development permit.
  • Permanent shipping containers are prohibited in all land use districts other than Industry – I and Light Industry I-L. In the industrial districts, shipping containers are listed as a discretionary use which means the Municipal Planning Commission is the decision-making body.

Can a shipping container be used as a garden shed, garage, or another type of structure?

By definition, shipping containers cannot be used as something other than as a shipping container.

However, a shipping container may be converted into a building or structure if certain requirements are met. A sampling of the requirements that need to be met includes:

  • Any shipping container proposed to be converted to a building or structure must be inspected by a Safety Codes Officer and proof of structural soundness must be provided by way of an engineering report or similar proof as determined to be sufficient by the Safety Codes Officer.
  • Shipping containers proposed to be converted to a building or structure must also be altered to ensure the appearance of the converted container is compatible with other buildings in the vicinity of the site where the converted container is proposed to go.
  • Shipping containers proposed to be converted to a building or structure must meet all other requirements of the Land Use Bylaw, such as but not limited to setbacks, lot coverage, and building height.

For more information pertaining to the new rules and regulations for shipping containers, please review the town’s Land Use Bylaw.

Shipping Container


Shipping Container Shed