Monday, October 6, 2008

Conex Box Disappointment

Today the guys at Mobile Mini called me back. Here's the breakdown to rent a 8'x15' conex box:

$85 delivery
$85 pickup
$87.50 a month
That's a lot of money.

If I wanted to buy their 8'x15' box it would cost $3,400. The 8'x10' is $3,100.

Then I searched on Craig's List and was able to find a place in Phoenix that sells used shipping containers and delivers them.

The cost to buy:
$2,550 for an 8'x40'
$525 for delivery
plus tax
Total $3,286

This was good! I know there is a place in Tucson so I continued my search but it was good to get a price finally.

Then a friend reminded me that I should set it where I wanted it to stay and connect it to the utilities. Hmmm, that would add extra costs and take much more planning. So, I called the county permitting department to inquire if permits were needed for a shipping container (no need to go in to my guest house plan right away). Unfortunately, the lady who replied informed me that conex shipping containers are not allowed on residential property, only commercial property. Uh-oh. I said, so the ones my neighbors have are illegal? She said yes. So I can't even rent one? She said no. Gee, I wonder if the Mobile Mini people know that. I guess as long as no one complains, no one cares. I asked her what it was about the boxes that made them illegal. She said that the state of Arizona has categorized them as "commercial" so they can't be allowed on residential property. I asked what it would take to become a commercial property. She said it was complicated, I would need a development plan, parking plan, etc...

That left me only one option...I send an email to the governor. Really, I did. I couldn't figure out which department to send my email to so I just sent it to the governor. I'm sure she will straighten this whole thing out and I can proceed with my plan. I'll just wait for her reply....


Anonymous said...

Not to disappoint, but I bet her office will say that is not within their jurisdiction - it is a city issue.

Sharon S said...

Hi there-oh, I hope you get a positive outcome!! My neighbour a few doors away has one at the rear of his house and to be honest I don't know if its legal or not. Its been there 3 years nearly and no-ones complained, so it must be ok.

Daizy said...

Yes anonymous, you are probably right. The county will blame the state, they will blame the city, they will blame the county and it will go on forever. Better not to ask I guess.

Hi Sharon rose, I bet I could get away with having a small one. Might cause a bit of a stir if they dropped off a 40 footer (that's 12.192 meters).

Anonymous said...

Do you mind sharing what county or city you live in? I found this post via google and I'm looking to buy a home in Tempe and have a connex box in my back yard until I can afford to build a shed back there (tempe zoning laws require that any secondary non-occupied structure be no more than 200 sqf, no more than 15ft high and must be at 3-9ft from the edges of the property depending on the height blah blah blah blah blah. I was also thinking if one standing in my back yard caused trouble for the neighbors, bury it! Make a ramp down to it (pouring concrete on your own isn't too tough).

Daizy said...

Anonymous, I live in Pima county. Tempe is in Maricopa county. I think most people don't ask about permits for conex boxes and just use them regardless. An underground one would be fun!