Thank you to the 565 residents who participated in the public engagement regarding proposed rules and regulations for shipping containers in Rocky View County.

During public engagement, residents shared their concerns about the maintenance and care of shipping containers, highlighting the importance of upholding community standards, and preserving Rocky View County as a desirable place to live. Residents also emphasized that shipping containers are an essential and valuable storage option. A full report detailing the feedback received is available here.

On June 25, Council voted to approve Bylaw C-8534-2024, which amends the Land Use Bylaw concerning the definition of shipping container use. This approval includes recommendations outlined below.

General Rules:

  • Allowing a maximum number of shipping containers to be placed on an Agricultural parcel through a use agreement, subject to criteria;
  • If the maximum number is exceeded on Agricultural parcels, allowing a greater number to be placed through a development permit, subject to criteria;
  • For residential parcels, only allowing a maximum of one shipping container on parcels over 1.6 hectares (3.95 acres) through a development permit subject to criteria;
  • Requiring a development permit for any shipping container placed on a commercial, business, or industrial parcel when not ancillary to a primary use;


  • Requiring the shipping container to complement existing buildings in exterior colour and the condition and appearance to be cohesive to the surrounding area;
  • Requiring all shipping containers to have a minimum setback distance of 50.0m from adjacent residential or agricultural parcels where a dwelling unit exits;
  • Requiring all shipping containers when placed within 75.0m from adjacent dwelling unit to be treated with additional design measures and/or landscaping

Temporary Placement:

  • Allowing a maximum of one shipping container to be placed temporarily without the requirement of a use agreement or development during construction or moving projects, subject to criteria


Shipping containers (Sea cans or Sea Containers) are used by some property owners as a useful storage option.

To ensure consistency and fairness for all residents, the County is considering changes to the Land Use Bylaw to provide clearer guidelines for the use of shipping containers in Rocky View County.

These regulations may include:

  • The size of the land parcel (acres) necessary to allow for the use of shipping containers.
  • The number of shipping containers permitted on a parcel of land.
  • The requirement to complement other buildings in exterior material, colour, and appearance.
  • Requirements for the condition of shipping containers.

Your participation is important to guide the County in developing new rules and regulations. We invite you to share your views and insights through the survey below. The data collected will be used by staff to create recommendations for potential changes to the Land Use Bylaw that will be presented to Council.

All community feedback gathered will be considered along with the following:

  • The effectiveness of the new rules and regulations.
  • The flexibility of the new rules and regulations.
  • Existing resources and future requirements.

Bylaw Amendments for Shipping Containers is currently scheduled to be presented to Council at a Public Hearing on June 25, 2024.


Currently under the County's Land Use Bylaw, shipping containers must not be attached in any way to principal buildings, cannot be stacked in non-industrial districts, and must be visually screened from public roads and adjacent properties to meet local standards.

Council has directed staff to investigate updating regulations to ensure that current regulations are meeting community needs.

Following public engagement, a public hearing is scheduled to be held on June 25, 2024, for Council to consider proposed changes to regulations for shipping container use.

If new regulations are approved, enforcement will be based on complaints received. There will be no proactive inspections.

A building permit is required when a shipping container is used for purposes other than temporary storage.

A professional engineer must provide a stamped and sealed design for the work where a container is modified, such as windows or doors are added.

If a shipping container is being renovated and incorporated into a developed building and space, such as a dwelling unit, additional review and certification may also be required for the building permit.