• Last modified 316 days ago (July 13, 2023)


Planners to consider container homes

More than a year after Hillsboro developed a district north of 3rd St. for potential placement of container homes, city planners will have a July 27 hearing on an application to place the first container home in the district.

Developer Felix Ramirez and then-partner Crystal Leatherman initially planned to install container homes on land purchased from developer Russell Groves.

Reluctant to allow container homes to be installed without meeting city requirements, city planners and council members drew up an overlay for the proposed area. The overlay set standards not just for homes made from shipping containers, but for other alternative housing construction.

Under regulations adopted in late April of last year:

  • Homes would need to be mounted on permanent foundations.
  • Each home would be an independent unit, connected to all available utilities and located in a manner to preserve the visual character of the neighborhood.
  • Homes must include siding, roofing, landscaping, and off-street parking.
  • If a home uses recycled building materials, information about the origin of the material must be submitted to the city’s building inspector, who may require environmental testing. Cost of any testing will be paid by the homeowner, builder, or developer.

Hillsboro authorities heard nothing more from Ramirez until he and a new partner, Dustin Burke, submitted a proposal for the first container home on the land. The proposed container home would be just east of a site-built house on the property.

“There were questions in the last planning commission meeting,” city administrator Matt Stiles said. “What the drawings showed and the requirements didn’t match.”

If planners and Ramirez and Burke come to an agreement July 27, the planning commission will make a recommendation to the city council and council members will take up the recommendation Aug. 15.

The planning meeting will be 5:30 p.m. July 27 in city council chambers.

Ramirez and Burke also have talked to Marion’s planning commission about placing a container home at 201 N. Freeborn St. in Marion.

They requested rezoning for the home, but a prohibition on “spot zoning” sent that plan back to the developers.

The last time Ramirez spoke to Hillsboro city council members, 14 members of the public appeared or logged into the meeting online to comment on Ramirez’s proposal.

Last modified July 13, 2023