Smithfield planners to consider four shipping container permits

Published 4:16 pm Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Smithfield is seeing an influx of applications for shipping containers six months after creating a process to allow them in town as permanent structures.

The Town Council amended its zoning ordinance in March to allow permanent shipping containers by special use permit in light industrial, or L-1, zoning, farmlands zoned for community conservation, or CC, and the town’s highway retail commercial, or HRC, district.

Smithfield’s Planning Commission is to hear four such permit applications at its Sept. 12 meeting.

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True Value Hardware on South Church Street, Dave’s Service Center on West Main Street, Brown’s Automotive on Moore Avenue and Smithfield Body & Frame, also on West Main Street, have each applied for the permits. True Value’s application is for “multiple shipping containers as accessory structures.”

The four applicants were each listed in a 2022 report by town staff that identified 16 businesses and organizations in town with shipping containers, suggesting that all four requests are for after-the-fact approvals.

The Planning Commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing on each of the four applications. The Sept. 12 meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in The Smithfield Center.