What Counts as a Canopy in Lake Oswego?

As we’ve seen a few times, towns and cities change their local ordinances in regards to carports and canopies. Sometimes, these changes are practical, while, in others, they’re done for aesthetics. Mainly, the visual improvement of the neighborhood or town is targeted and those in the area with existing canopies need to put them in the back of their properties. In most cases, what is a canopy and what is a carport is defined – for the most part. More specifically, the size and location of the structure is an important aspect in many of these ordinances.

Nevertheless, a recent article was published regarding changes to a similar ordinance in Lake Oswego. The gist, according to the linked article, is to only have such temporary structures, like canopies, on the property for certain periods at a time. What’s mainly being targeted are PODS, those portable storage containers that are designed for temporary use only. But, as implied, these are being left on the property and used like carports and portable garages instead. The ordinance specifies that such storage containers can only be on a property for no more than 60 days during a year. Similarly, temporary canopy structures (these aren’t defined, either) can only be used for three out of 30 days.

But, aside from the changes for anyone that lives in Lake Oswego, what is defined as a canopy and portable storage unit isn’t clear – at least by this article. Does a portable garage count as a temporary portable storage unit, or, because it can be left out for even years at a time, does it not fall into the same category? Or, because it is a canopy of some kind and can be taken does, does it qualify as a canopy? Are portable garages and permanent carports even addressed, or, because they fall in between PODS and pop up canopies, do they not fall into either category?

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