Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Gran In A Can: Andy Bencosme Embraces Cargotecture


This very afternoon Sierra Madre City Council candidate Andy Bencosme will be holding a campaign event in Sierra Madre. This in itself is notable since his quixotic effort to achieve elective office in the Foothill Village began with a campaign kickoff in Arcadia. Plus I think he planted some of his lawn signs there as well.

I know, I've mentioned that before. But it is nice that he has finally found his way home. Many were concerned. Now if he would just hold them when people aren't at work.

If you go to Andy's campaign Facebook page (link), you will notice that his event at 4PM today has been built around a discussion he is calling "Business Spotlight on Kubed Living." Or "Cargotecture," if you prefer something slightly more well known.

Apparently there is a business in town that advocates for (and coincidentally sells) homes made out of metal shipping containers. You know, the kind they put on those big cargo ships in Long Beach and send to Asia where they are then filled up with sporks, transmission fluid and replacement parts for dishwashers. Among other useful things.

According to Facebook nine people are planning to attend this event so far, and another five claim to be interested, though maybe not quite enough to actually go. So there should be plenty of room if you wish to take part.

Putting aside any discussion of societal decline and depressed community standards for today, what is Cargotecture, and why would this appeal to Andy? I thought we should give this a moment or two of consideration. After all, this guy could be running the city soon. You need to know what he thinks might a good idea for this town.

Back in 2011, when Cargotecture had first become a hot topic, the celebrated website Fine Homebuilding posted the following article. You can link to it here.

Homeward bound.
Cargotecture: Would You Live in a Metal Box? Cargotecture, a term that was apparently coined some years ago by Robert Humble and Joel Egan over at www.hybridarc.com, refers to homes that are made out of shipping containers. 

I’m sure you’ve seen a few of these projects, but have you ever considered them to be a viable building option? I’ve been stumbling upon more and more of these homes lately, and so I’ve been wondering: Do shipping containers make great homes, or are they just weird? I’ve decided my answer is … yes. 

Yes, I think they make good homes, and yes they are rather weird and unconventional, which is a major part of their allure for me. To me, living in a converted metal shipping container demonstrates an open mindedness and a sense of creativity that seems to be severely lacking in a lot of homes. While shipping containers can be used to build larger homes, they seem like a great way to build an affordable, small home.

Of course, I’ve got questions. I wonder what my local building department would say of a plan to build with shipping containers (or how quickly they’d put the brakes on my project). I wonder what electrical and plumbing rough-in would be like. I also wonder if I have the design sense to make a shipping container look, feel and function like a real home, and not like some metal box that was plopped behind a mailbox. 

Yeah, that would be a problem. Personally, I'd be very interested to hear what the Planning Commission might have to say about this. I think any applicant should anticipate some questions.

The Sierra Madre entrepreneurs advocating for Cargotecture locally call their outfit Kubed Living, and they have a website that you can look over by clicking here. They have posted some conceptual pictures of what these wickiups might look like, and they do seem interesting and easy on the eyes. Here are a couple.



That could dress up your backyard, I guess. I suppose they do look like a nice enough place to stash your mother-in-law. The aforementioned "Gran in a Can." Or maybe that special kid who decided he'd prefer to spend his life cultivating a weed habit rather than getting a job, or giving you grandkids.

But you know what? This being the real world and all, and taking into account that a lot of people don't really care that much about what the place they're living in looks like, how can you be sure you won't end up with do-it-yourselfer neighbors living in something that looks like this instead?


OK, who knows, right? Maybe it would look better with a Century 21 sign out front. And so you know, someday SCAG will probably force Sierra Madre to actually build some authentic low income RHNA housing. Like right after they have sent in the National Guard. So perhaps filling up a couple of lots with shipping containers will actually get them off of everybody's backs.

After all, there are a lot of available homeless people in LA County looking for city funded housing to go to. Maybe they actually could come and live somewhere around here. In Cargo Madre.

We could call that neighborhood Andyville.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

71 comments:

  1. Perhaps Jose is trying to better prepare for the zombie apocalypse. A metal house is zombie proof.

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  2. Likely high probability that LA County homeless don’t want to be homeless. Who knows what issues they’ve faced including mental health problems. The last sentence is pretty bad.

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    Replies
    1. We have a few commenters here who face similar problems.

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    2. 5:55 - what is the politically correct way of discussing the homeless?

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    3. 5:55, the last sentence is a Tattlerism, "Andyville." Not really so bad.

      Are you volunteering your backyard/front yard/house, to help with the homeless population? Great! Make sure to give your address to the agencies trying to find housing.

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    4. 5:55 has a can plan.

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    5. 7:14, so sorry I disrupted your mind with my concern over the blogs comment regarding the homeless. But to imply it’s awful that homeless may need some help by living elsewhere is pretty sad. Just stay in your sheltered world and you’ll be ok.

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    6. 7:39, no I’m not volunteering my backyard/frontyard/house to help the homeless. That would be lame since it’s a short term solution. I do give money to charities that help them. What do you do to help, your holiness? Whine anonymously on blogs?

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    7. 5:55/4:13/4:16 is clearly prone to hissy fits.

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    8. Some people just can't help but be shrill.

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    9. Sanctimoniousness nerver really comes off well.

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    10. Neither does stupidity, 7:39.

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    11. Who are you talking to?

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  3. It's a Mensa thing. You wouldn't understand.

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  4. These boxes would be great storage for the library and if people used the stored materials they could then expand as the number of users expanded. Otherwise, they could be stored at the schools who use the library on a limited basis. Seems to be a great idea.

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  5. Are they big enough for six plants?

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  6. They might be hot on a summer day. Like a car gets when you park it in the sun.

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  7. The homes in the first two photos look nice, but I doubt they are built out of cargo containers.

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    Replies
    1. Almost anything would look nice in those settings.

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    2. If I had the money I'd buy the monastery property and live there in a tepee. I'd bring in a few bison to graze the place as well.

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    3. On Saturdays the bison could migrate to Kersting Court to check out the Belgian beers at Lucky Baldwins.

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  8. Typical developer schtick - notice the metal box is pictured on unending acres of beautiful green land.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe that's the land in front of the monastery.

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    2. Or the desolate mess on Carter. MacCans coming to that blighted project?

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    3. Would they need to be color coordinated? Otherwise it would be quite a motley display.

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    4. Put wheels on them so they could move around town for parties and such. Down to the park for beer garden, dress it up for the 4th of July parade, park it in the old albersons parking lot for sunday donuts and just plain kicking back. Sell chips out of it at La Salle.. there are so many more things too!

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  9. The reason Andy holds his events during working hours is he doesn't want to be home late for dinner.

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    Replies
    1. Neither do you or I - what's wrong with that?

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    2. People can't get to his events.

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  10. Followed the link to the website, and funnily enough, the "about us" menu choice doesn't work.

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    Replies
    1. There are some architects in town who list Gran in A Can as a part of their business:
      Haynes & Oakley
      331 W Sierra Madre Blvd
      Sierra Madre, CA 91024

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    2. Don't think they're connected, 7:51. Kubed Living is a new business one Montecito. That said, I can't find any information on it online. Like who owns it.

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    3. They are known for their can do mentality.

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    4. 7:47 there is a page that comes up. The owner is a realtor.

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    5. The owner is probably pretty square.

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  11. They might work in the canyon. Or, as some might come to know it, Canistan.

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  12. 5:55am. The correct spelling is : metal health.

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  13. Promises, promises.
    Restoring civility or cando metality and decorum to cancil meetings.

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    Replies
    1. I remember that. Misca, Walsh and Moran ran on a civility platform. Which, of course, led to the most over the loony City Council ever. Thank God for the one we have now.

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  14. Andy and the great can scam.

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    Replies
    1. Can I get a witness?

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    2. Andy’s new campaign slogan “I’m in the can, will be out in a minute.”

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    3. I have a special edition that doubles as a fishing boat. We call it the Can Tiki.

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  15. No collusion, no collusion, no canlusion, no collusion no collusion.

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  16. Andy is a supporter of canned living.
    Queen of the throne, Nancy Walsh (S.M. Mayor) gave the town the most expensive kiosk portable CAN.

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  17. President Trump has arrived in San Diego, his first trip to California; after CANNING Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State.

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    Replies
    1. Pr*sident Dennison will pay $65,000 per can.

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  18. The can may actually be a workable alternative for someone, who has the space and wants to put in an addition. However, isn't this more something that could be presented by the company owner to the Planning Commission one night? I don't see the big push as a policy statement for the city council. There won't be many takers for this option.

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    Replies
    1. We need a downtown can plan.

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  19. Maybe Sierra Madre should declare it's self a historical preservation city.

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  20. Maybe Sierra Madre should declare Kersting Court as a Historical Landmark.

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  21. The city of Atwater has some of these "cans".
    They are great in stack and pack, strong skeletal muscle, cooling is a bit expensive.

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  22. Ok I have the time but were? I’m big on a tiny house thing would be perfect for the warehouse district in Oakland and in Silicon Valley where the rents really high and if you lived in the Sierras on a vacation home or maybe along the coast

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  23. I thinking that the Los Angeles Mayor should invest in "off the tracks" box car living for the skid row homeless.
    The Feds and State have land to donate, the High Speed Rail project could be the catalyst for change. Just adjust the project to no where, to a project of growth and hope.
    Lets see the government make a positive change in all our lives.

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  24. on his personal facebook page Jose has a video of someone stealing two of his signs

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    Replies
    1. Is there a reward being offered for the identity of the thieves?

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    2. Caught them dead to rights on the can cam.

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    3. So he is interested in the legality of where signs are posted after all?

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    4. Maybe he hired someone to play the part.

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  25. Box car office space.
    Side street off of Los Feliz bl. before Hyperion ave.
    I am not in the area, cannot recall the street. Watched as the Crain lifted them into place. Pretty cool.

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  26. As you all notice, Andy is appealing to the businesses in town for his following. He has signs in several businesses and of course signs on the lawns on several realtors in town. Are there enough of them to get a win for Andy? I hope not, as he will unbalance the perfect 5. BTW, our two homeless people from town are happily living in another city with shelter, food, and social services to help them get on their feet. So, unless the new business in town intends to capture the interest of the Monastery, there hardly seems like business for them.

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    Replies
    1. If we don't get out the vote, Andy will win. Anyone who doesn't want this guy, please volunteer to the other campaigns.

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  27. Who is Jose? Just can't keep your small minded, entitled,racist mouth shut?

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    Replies
    1. His mother liked that name when she gave it to him.

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    2. Chill 4:11, time to hit the bong up in da canyon.

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  28. Andres Jose same thing? Go MAGA Trumpie....

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  29. What two homeless Sierra Madrens?
    The Mayor of L.A. should take notice and inquire about those same services.
    The Salvation Army is always ready to help.

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  30. It’s always good to remember history, especially examples of how Arcadia council members and city staff tried to pull off this BS (sorry Beck supporters, but you know that was bad on his behalf):

    http://www.pasadenaindependent.com/featured/arcadia-officials-cancel-china-trip-react-to-allegations-of-impropriety-council-will-return-donations/

    What a bunch of idiots.

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    Replies
    1. Obviously Beck was going with the rest of those knuckleheads to keep an eye on crooks like Sho Tay and Johnny GemCoins Wuo. Those two would have sold this whole section of the San Gabriel Valley to the same oligarchs in Beijing that are funding the campaigns of Harbicht and Chandler. Beck is a true patriot.

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  31. Adaptive reuse for all the cargo containers is a very good idea. The space required and the local is always an important question. If I had room for a small one on my property in the canyon I would gladly have one for storage (how different can it be from a metal shed from Sears?) As far as granny digs in the back yard...not what most of the designers of this reuse have in mind for residential areas in a town like Sierra Madre.

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