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Raleigh Leaders To Consider Guidelines For Temporary Storage Units

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Storage Unit
RALEIGH, N.C. — It looks like a freight container and you can't miss it. It's an orange portable storage unit that belongs to one of Jennifer Becker's neighbors, and it's been at the house since 2003.

Becker and other residents think there should be rules to outline how long the crate, often sold by PODS and Pack Rats, can remain in residential areas.

"This belongs in a shipping yard, it does not belong in a residential neighborhood," said Becker.

Raleigh inspectors say it is not a nuisance violation. Since it's a relatively new industry, there is no specific ordinance that addresses these units. Inspectors have used a temporary event policy to allow the units to stay in a driveway for 20 days. If they are in the backyard, the are considered a shed and can stay as long as wanted.

Raleigh City Council Member Philip Isley is looking at new guidelines to make sure the units aren't being abused.

"You can tell who's got one; they are white, big and fairly unsightly," said Isley. "But I'm also mindful of how long it takes to move something and that is a pain."

The owner of the local PODS franchise, Jim Loy hopes the city will make exceptions for unexpected events like fires or floods. Overall, though, Loy thinks a 20-day limit is fair.

"Our containers are designed to be there for a limited amount of time while our customers load them and unload them, and then we have a warehouse they can store them in," said Loy.

A City Council committee will take up the issue on Tuesday. Some sort of change is expected. The city's inspections director said that as times change, so should city rules.

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