Temporary storage ordinances vary in York County


About two years ago, a portable storage unit turned up on a driveway near Josh Seevers' Dallastown home.

The big white box just off the cul-de-sac in the 700 block of West Broad Street was supposed to be a temporary addition, but Seevers said it's still there and long ago became an eyesore.

Seevers said he started complaining to borough officials about the unit, but nothing seems to be getting done.

"I'm just at the end of my rope," Seevers said. "I can only call so many times."

Ordinance: Like some other York County municipalities, Dallastown has crafted an ordinance regulating portable on-demand storage units, including PODS.

But the offending homeowner's circumstances made it difficult to enforce, said David Garabedian, zoning and codes enforcement officer.

The homeowner had been living out of the country for a period of time, making it tough for borough officials to reach him, Garabedian said.

The owner has since moved stateside and told borough officials he'll have the unit — which contains personal belongings — removed when he moves back into the home later this month, Garabedian said.

The ordinance says homeowners wanting to put a PODS on their property must first pay $25 for a permit. The unit is only supposed to remain in place for 30 days, but a homeowner can reapply for two 30-day extensions, each carrying a $25 fee, meaning a unit can be on a property for a maximum of 90 days, Garabedian said.

The homeowner on West Broad Street never applied for a permit but is expected to get one later this month. Though Garabedian said he legally can issue a citation that carries a fine, he prefers more diplomatic means of solving problems.

"It's placed where it's supposed to be. It's on the driveway, not on the lawn or street," he said.

According to the ordinance, only one unit can be placed on the property at a time and it must be on a driveway, not in the street or on the lawn.

Elsewhere: Some York County municipalities don't regulate portable storage units, and others are lax.

Rules vary among those who've addressed the portable storage units, which have risen in popularity over the past several years.

In Spring Garden Township, residents must pay a $100 permit fee to have a PODS for up to 21 days. The unit can be placed on the driveway or yard, or even in the street if it won't impede traffic, according to the township's ordinance.

Springettsbury Township allows a PODS that is no larger than 8 feet wide, 16 feet long and 8 feet high. It can sit in a residential area for no more than three days at a time or in a nonresidential area for no more than 30 days, the ordinance instructs.

In West Manchester Township, a unit can be placed on a street if police and fire officials say it won't impede traffic, said Monica Love, the code enforcement officer.

Storage devices are allowed on a property for up to six months, after which they fall under a different set of codes.

"Once it's been there six months, then it's considered a permanent structure," Love said.

The storage units aren't a big issue in the township, and rarely does Love field complaints about them, she said.