• Last modified 827 days ago (Jan. 12, 2022)


Container home deal falls through

But Hillsboro still likely to discuss issue

Staff writer

A proposal to place two- and three-bedroom container houses in a Hillsboro neighborhood previously planned for site-built homes drew questions and criticism last week.

Even though the plan has fallen through, Hillsboro city council likely will still have a planned discussion Tuesday.

Many critics took to social media to complain about the container homes. Others contacted mayor Lou Thurston to object to the homes being built.

In his own social media posting, Thurston wrote: “Let me state right up front, no one, including me, wants to encourage any building plans that would not meet city code or city zoning. That said, if city codes and zoning regulations are met, there is not much the City of Hillsboro can do to stop such private projects.”

Felix Ramirez, owner of Kansas Home Solutions, and Crystal Leatherman, owner of Heartland Investment Properties, purchased Hillsboro’s mobile home park and installed three container homes — one completed and the other two still in progress — there.

Those are not the container homes being questioned.

What’s being questioned is Ramirez and Leatherman’s plan to put several larger, multi-container homes along the north side of 3rd. St.

Marlene Herzet, who lives across 3rd St. from the proposed development, doesn’t like the idea.

“We’re getting information from a city employee, but this is a whole ’nother story to put container homes in this part of town,” Herzet said.

Herzet said Thurston told her no city code prohibited placement of container homes in the area.

“My husband wanted to start a petition, but I don’t have time,” Herzet said.

Herzet questioned whether buyers could get mortgage loans or homeowners insurance for container homes. She talked to Thurston and was not satisfied with his response.

“We’re not getting any support from our council members on this,” Herzet said. “We vote these council members in to represent us. They don’t have to live here and look at that.”

She said she had heard Ramirez and Leatherman were buying 100 containers to build homes.

“I just don’t understand why container houses are so important all of a sudden,” she said.

Ramirez said Saturday that he did plan to develop two- and three-bedroom container houses north of 3rd St. but was still going through steps that needed to be completed first.

He had not known at that time that a meeting was scheduled, but was aware of social media posts critical of the idea. He had not decided whether to attend the meeting.

Apparently, community criticism deflated the idea.

“It’s all gone dead,” Marlene Richards, a real estate agent who had the property listed for sale, said Tuesday.

Richards said the land sale was canceled because of community opposition.

Thurston said Tuesday that discussion likely would remain on Tuesday’s council agenda so people could express their opinions and learn how city codes work.

Last modified Jan. 12, 2022