Long Beach Residents Rally Against Backyard Cargo Containers

LONG BEACH (CBS) — “They make us look like Wilmington!”

KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reports that’s the general reaction from residents on San Francisco Avenue near Hill Street as a homeowner adds on to their property by using two shipping containers.

Despite some initial questions upon first hearing about the project they had questions, there was a moderate level of support among neighbors, particularly over its environmental impact.

“We thought reuse of containers was wonderful,” said one local homeowner.

The residents also say they expected the sides of the steel cargo containers would be covered up in stucco once they were installed.

Instead, the bright yellow shipping containers remain exposed.

The Long Beach Planning Commission recently voted 4 to 3 to change the code that prohibited metal roofs and siding, paving the way for anyone in the city to use shipping containers for building or remodeling a home pending a review.

But residents say those approving the plans have a chance now to review the potential impact.

One homeowner says he “invited the commission to please come stand where we’re standing right now, and tell me that isn’t a metal building and a blighted impact on the city of Long Beach”.

“If everybody had one of these in their backyard,” he says, “we would look just like what that section of the law is trying to avoid.”

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

  • Ossie

    In this earthquake-prone zone, a stucco-covered cargo container would probably be stronger than many stick-built structures-they should simply amend the code to require matching the containers with the homes, either with paint, siding or stucco. Perhaps adding bushes or vines would mitigate the containers’ lack of aesthetic appeal.

  • http://losangelesforme.com/2011/04/long-beach-residents-rally-against-backyard-cargo-containers/ Long Beach Residents Rally Against Backyard Cargo Containers | Los Angeles for Me

    […] They’re being called everything from a “boxcar” to a blight on the neighborhood, but local officials say they have a plan to fight the growing trend. More from: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com… […]

  • duh

    Maybe the homeowner in question still intends to dress the outside of the containers, and maybe the neighbors are just being impatient. There’s no dates provided to know how long this ‘project’ has been under way. Without that variable, it’s impossible to side with anyone. Many people who embark on large projects have to postpone things due to financial and/or life situations (medical a possibility there). I agree with Ossie that this ‘problem’ has some pretty simple solutions available without putting a kibosh on the whole idea.

    You can be sick of neighbors who don’t care what blight they impose on the neighborhood, as well as being sick of neighbors who are so obviously bored/lonely/whatever that they have to nose and meddle into everyone’s business. It goes both ways.

    • markus

      There should be no question about how the container will be finished. The city bulding department should assure in the planning stages how the container will appear when done. Leaving one of these containers exposed is not acceptable, nor is letting vines grow up on it acceptable.

  • Peeved Individual

    Why can’t these people just accept the dang containers? Sure, they might not look that good but they are probably cheaper than any other kind of renovation and are more practical. On a side note, how could insult the city of Wilmington by comparing this to them? That’s just plain sad.

    • Peeved Individual

      *how could they

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