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New Haven clamps down on storage bins

– If you have a portable storage unit or trash bin on your property, you have 45 days to get rid of it.

The New Haven Council passed an ordinance Tuesday regulating the use of portable storage units and large trash bins after batting around the proposed ruling for several months.

The law pertains only to properties zoned for residential use.

Portable storage units – sometimes called PODS, an acronym for portable on-demand storage – are containers for the temporary storage of household goods, usually in the moving process.

The ordinance includes truck trailers or truck boxes that were originally used for transportation but are now used for storage.

Council member Sarah DiGangi, R-2nd, cast the lone nay vote, saying it was not fair unless applied to all of New Haven.

“I am pro-business, but we need to pass this for all or none,” she said.

PODS and large trash bins cannot be used as permanent storage buildings, utility sheds or accessory structures and can be no larger than 8 feet wide, 40 feet long and 8 1/2 feet high.

No more than one will be allowed per lot. They can remain no more than 45 days within a 12-month period, unless being used on an approved construction site.

PODS and trash bins can be placed on or near a public right of way adjacent to a private lot, but a permit and lighted barricade are required, and placement is subject to approval from the city’s engineering department.

Those who violate the ordinance are subject to fines up to $100. Those who already have portable storage units or large trash bins on site will be allowed to have them for a maximum of 45 days from Tuesday.

Three council members said they would consider a similar ordinance regulating properties zoned for commercial, industrial and business use in the near future.

In other business, council members agreed to take the initial step toward allowing a tax incentive for Central States Enterprises.

The company is investing more than $12 million at its grain storage operation in New Haven. The council gave a preliminary nod to a seven-year tax abatement that will save Central States $129,000.

The company plans to add a $2.66 million grain receiving system – including a dump pit, conveyors and dust system – that will significantly increase unloading capacity.

The council will vote on the abatement March 11.