• Last modified 70 days ago (March 21, 2024)


Hillsboro approves container homes

Staff writer

In coming months, Hillsboro could add as many as two single and four duplex homes made from shipping containers on the north side of 3rd St. and 12 additional duplexes south of Dollar General.

Housing for 34 families is planned by two companies. All are planned to be affordable homes designed for working families.

Hillsboro City Council unanimously approved four ordinances Tuesday to permit Elite Container Homes to build alternative construction duplexes and one ordinance to permit a single-family home on 3rd St. after planning commission members viewed houses built by the company in Lindsborg.

An ordinance to permit a single-family shipping container home was approved in January.

Planning commissioners were happy with shipping container homes built in Lindsborg and concluded the homes met city code, City Administrator Matt Stiles said.

“We went and toured one that was under construction in Lindsborg,” Stiles said. “They’re located among existing family homes.”

Mayor Lou Thurston said shipping container housing would be a major development for the city and fit with a city goal to add housing.

Planners originally wanted to see the first container home completed before giving permission to build additional homes but were reassured by their trip to Lindsborg.

Allowing shipping container homes on the north side of 3rd St. has been discussed since January, 2022, when developer Felix Ramirez and then-partner Crystal Leatherman wanted to add them to the area. At first, community opposition was strong.

Regulations developed in April, 2022, included:

  • Homes would 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 would include siding, roofing, landscaping, and off-street parking.
  • Information about the origin of any recycled material would be submitted to the city’s building inspector, who could require environmental testing.

Hillsboro authorities heard nothing more from Ramirez until he and a new partner, Dustin Burke, submitted a proposal last summer for the first container home on 3rd St.

Another proposed housing development is to be built by Mennonite Housing. The proposed Orchard Ridge project would add 12 duplex buildings (24 units), a clubhouse, and a maintenance garage to an area south of Dollar General.

That development will get a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Hillsboro City Hall,

Orchard Ridge is intended for renters with annual household income below 80% of the area median.

Last modified March 21, 2024